HLB Resources for California Growers

Josh McGill California Corner, HLB Management

Recently, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) declared an HLB quarantine in Ventura County following the first detections of the disease in the county. In response, the Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program (CPDPP) issued a list of HLB resources. The resources are intended to help inform the citrus industry about what changes to expect from the quarantine, …

Universities Receive 11 Federal Grants for HLB Research

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA) has invested more than $25 million in 11 projects as part of the Emergency Citrus Disease Research & Extension program. This program brings the nation’s top scientists together with citrus industry representatives to find scientifically sound solutions that combat and prevent citrus greening (HLB)​ at the farm level. Some of this …

Research Update on Oxytetracycline Injection for HLB Management

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research

By Ute Albrecht The German scientist Paul Ehrlich pioneered the research for “magic bullets” — chemicals that could kill a microorganism but did not harm the patient. He also coined the term “chemotherapy” and paved the way for developing synthetic drugs. The first synthetic antibiotic (the first sulfa-type antibiotic) to successfully treat human bacterial diseases without major side effects was …

First HLB Detection in Ventura County

Tacy Callies California Corner, HLB Management, Regulation

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has declared a quarantine in Ventura County following the detection of the citrus disease huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening, in two citrus trees on one residential property in the city of Santa Paula. These detections are the first HLB-positive trees in Ventura County. CDFA is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture …

Treat HLB Trees With the Right PGR at the Right Time

Josh McGill HLB Management, PGRs, Research

By Tripti Vashisth, Wesley Webb and Taylor Livingston As trees become symptomatic for HLB, leaves experience an imbalance of plant hormones. This hormonal imbalance exacerbates HLB symptoms and can lead to more stem dieback, poor vegetative growth and fruit drop. This ultimately leads to reduced bearing wood, resulting in yield losses and tree decline. Thus, the use of growth-promoting hormones …

HLB Tools for Today and Tomorrow

Josh McGill Citrus Expo, HLB Management

By Frank Giles and Tacy Callies The Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo hosted two citrus educational sessions during the Aug. 16–17 event held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. The sessions included both long-term research aimed at delivering trees resistant to HLB as well as what growers can do today to help mitigate the effects of the disease in …

Gene Confers Resistance to HLB and Citrus Canker

Josh McGill HLB Management, International, Research

In August, Horticulture Research published a paper titled An endolysin gene from Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus confers dual resistance to huanglongbing and citrus canker. Researchers found that an endolysin encoded by the Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) prophage has dual resistance to huanglongbing (HLB) and citrus canker. A prophage is the genetic material of a bacteriophage, and a bacteriophage is a virus …

Transgenic Efforts Against HLB

Josh McGill Breeding, HLB Management, Research

Matthew Mattia recently provided an overview of work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) transgenic test site in Fort Pierce. Transgenic refers to an organism that contains genetic material into which DNA from an unrelated organism has been artificially introduced. Scientists at the Picos Farm screen transgenics for suppression of citrus Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), …

HLB Treatment Approved in Florida

Josh McGill HLB Management, Industry News Release

Invaio Sciences in late August announced that its Trecise technology to deliver ArborBiotic for the suppression of HLB in oranges received approval from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The approval came under section 24(c) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.    Invaio stated that the product’s closed-system design does not require drilling. Unlike conventional injection treatments, …

Agrobacteria Shows Promise Against HLB

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research

U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) scientists have discovered a way to augment a citrus tree’s natural resistance to pathogens, including HLB. The scientists are in the Crop Improvement and Genetics Research (CIGR) unit in Albany, California. According to James Thomson, a geneticist at CIGR, by incorporating receptors that can recognize pathogens, scientists are able to activate …

Fundecitrus Researchers Honored for HLB Article

Josh McGill Awards, Brazil, HLB Management

Six Fundecitrus researchers recently received an award from the journal Tropical Plant Pathology, edited by the Brazilian Society of Phytopathology. The award is in recognition of the researchers’ work in the scientific article “Overview of citrus huanglongbing spread and management strategies in Brazil.” The researchers honored are Renato Beozzo Bassanezi, Sílvio Aparecido Lopes, Marcelo Pedreira de Miranda, Nelson Arno Wulff, …

Connecting Research for Better HLB Management Results

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research, Tip of the Week

By Megan Dewdney To make informed management decisions, growers need to know about and understand the findings from huanglongbing (HLB) research that are currently available. However, the delivery of research results to growers is often fragmented, and results can be difficult to find. Furthermore, what information and conclusions are available to growers from projects or scientific journals can be highly …

Hairy Approach May Get to the Root of HLB

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research, Texas

Developing disease-resistant, high-quality improved crop varieties may seem like a “hairy” task, but Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists may have gotten to the root of the issue. A new biological technology that develops and multiplies disease-resistant citrus plants is under development by an AgriLife Research team led by Kranthi Mandadi. Mandadi is an associate professor at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research …

CRDF Board Focused on HLB Treatments

Josh McGill CRDF, HLB Management, Research

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) board of directors meeting in July focused largely on the use of oxytetracycline (OTC) as an HLB treatment in citrus. The board considered projects testing it in combination with other antimicrobial compounds or as a standalone treatment. Trunk injection of OTC has given the Florida citrus industry hope that it might be a …

Grower-Friendly HLB Research Summaries

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA) provides research directed at overcoming the devastating HLB disease and protecting the nation’s citrus industry. Since 2014, NIFA has funded approximately $200 million for HLB research projects.  Many HLB-related NIFA project one-page summaries are now easily accessible and written in a grower-friendly language and format on the …

Nutrition and Irrigation Role Reinforced for HLB Trees

Josh McGill Irrigation, Nutrition

In a virtual seminar for growers on July 19, Davie Kadyampakeni reinforced that optimal, balanced nutrition and frequent irrigation can improve HLB-affected citrus trees, yield and fruit. Kadyampakeni is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) associate professor at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. NUTRITION“Citrus fruit yields, juice quality and canopy size …

Speeding Up the Screening Process for HLB Therapies

Josh McGill HLB Management

While it remains to be seen if trunk injection of oxytetracycline hydrochloride (OTC-HCl) is a game changer in the fight against HLB, it certainly has intensified the conversation about the potential for antimicrobial treatments. There are literally hundreds of materials that might be effective at reducing the HLB bacteria in trees, but it has been a slow process to screen …

HLB Lessons Learned From Nepal

Josh McGill All In For Citrus Podcast, HLB Management, International

Citrus is grown in many different regions across the globe. Some of those places look very different than the Florida landscape. But that doesn’t mean growers in different regions can’t benefit from learning about how others grow their fruit. That was the message from Christoper Vincent, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) assistant professor of environmental …

Managing Micronutrients in HLB-Affected Trees

Josh McGill Nutrition, Tip of the Week

By Davie Kadyampakeni Nutrients are needed for optimal tree growth, fruit yields and juice quality. Any nutrient deficiencies could result in low yields and decreased revenue, so it is essential to make sure citrus trees receive adequate nutrient supplies at all times. Micronutrients, though required in minute quantities, are especially important for citrus trees impacted by citrus greening. Examples of …

Identifying HLB Therapeutics With CTV-Based Vectors

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research

By Choaa A. El Mohtar Projected citrus production in Florida for the 2022–23 season is less than 20 million boxes. This is more than a 90% decrease compared to the 2003–04 season, which was around 292 million boxes. The main reason for the decrease is huanglongbing (HLB) disease. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus …