Citrus greening confirmed in Alabama

In Southeast Farm Press

by Cary Blake

The feared citrus disease Huanglongbing (HLB) – a.k.a. citrus greening – has been confirmed in Alabama, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI).

HLB was found in leaf and insect samples from a residential property on Dauphin Island in Mobile County. Dauphin Island is a town located on a barrier island with the same name at the Gulf of Mexico. Continue reading

Citrus Disease Research and Extension (CDRE)

The Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (CDRE) is authorized in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (H.R. 2642) to award grants to eligible entities to conduct research and extension activities, technical assistance and development activities to: (a) combat citrus diseases and pests, both domestic and invasive and including huanglongbing and the Asian citrus psyllid, which pose imminent harm to United States citrus production and threaten the future viability of the citrus industry; and (b) provide support for the dissemination and commercialization of relevant information, techniques, and technologies discovered pursuant to research and extension activities funded through SCRI/CDRE and other research and extension projects targeting problems caused by citrus production diseases and invasive pests. Continue reading

Researchers discover protein that aids in spreading citrus greening

In Southwest Farm Press

Since the introduction of Huánglóngbìng (HLB—yellow dragon disease—better known as citrus greening disease) onto U.S. soil in a Florida citrus grove in 2005, the disease has been a major threat to commercial citrus production across the country.

Before arriving in North America, HLB had already carved a path of destruction across the Far East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Arabian Peninsula, and was discovered in July 2004 in Brazil. In its wake it left citrus growers around the world astounded at the inevitable and long-lasting risks the disease poses to the global citrus industry. Continue reading

New sensor detects citrus greening before symptoms appear

In Growing Produce

by Paul Rusnak

Nearly two years ago, news arose that University of Florida researchers had developed a tool to help growers combat citrus greening: an electronic sensor. Today, a new study shows the time-lapse polarized imaging system may indeed detect greening before the plant’s leaves show symptoms.

For the study, Won Suk “Daniel” Lee and Alireza Pourreza were seeking to know how early citrus leaves with greening can be detected while they are pre-symptomatic. So they inoculated plants with the greening disease and put those leaves through a time-lapse imaging system.
There, they found starch in the leaves, an early sign of greening, said Pourreza, a former post-doctoral researcher in the UF/IFAS Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department. In their study, UF/IFAS researchers detected greening about one month after they infected the trees, he said. Continue reading

Time-lapsed imaging may help growers detect citrus greening

in Southeast Farm Press

by Brad Buck, University of Florida

A time-lapse polarized imaging system may help citrus growers detect greening before the plant’s leaves show symptoms, which should help growers as they try to fend off the deadly disease.

For the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences study shows, Won Suk “Daniel” Lee and Alireza Pourreza wanted to know how early citrus leaves with greening can be detected while they are pre-symptomatic. So they inoculated plants with the greening disease and put those leaves through a time-lapse imaging system. Continue reading

Two postdoc positions at University of California

The University of California at Riverside has two openings for postdocs working with invasive insects, specifically European grapevine moth and Asian citrus psyllid.

Spatial analysis of an invasive insect in California vineyards

An opening is available for a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Entomology at the University of California – Riverside to study the spatiotemporal dynamics of European grapevine moth (Lobesia botrana) invasion. The researcher will leverage an existing dataset of moth distribution toward understanding the factors that contributed to moth establishment and spread, and to evaluate the efficacy of regulatory procedures. Applicants should have a Ph.D. in ecology, entomology, geography or a related field with a focus on invasion biology or landscape ecology. Experience with GIS, spatial statistics, and statistical modeling is required. The position is available September 1st, with the potential for being located at UC Riverside or UC Berkeley. To apply, send a cover letter, CV, list of professional references, and a writing sample to Matt Daugherty (mattd@ucr.edu). Continue reading

Citrus trees in “old flush” need to be watched for Asian citrus psyllid

In ARS News

by Dennis O’Brien, Agricultural Research Service

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist is providing citrus growers with much-needed guidance about the best times to use insecticides to control Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening.

HLB has cost Florida citrus growers an estimated $1.3 billion since 2005. The disease is caused by a bacterium spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, which feeds on leaves of infected trees and carries the disease from tree to tree. Insecticides are currently the best option for controlling HLB. Continue reading