I spent time with researchers and growers who are working to stop this bacterial illness, which leaves fruit green and bitter and kills trees. Known as huanglongbing (HLB) -- Chinese for yellow dragon disease -- it is caused by bacteria that hide in the salivary glands of invasive insects known as Asian citrus psyllids. The pests arrived in the U.S. in the late 1990s and have spread the disease by injecting germs into plants as they feed on sap from their leaves. There is no cure for the disease.
19 July 2013, USDA ARS, Jan Suszkiw -- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are creating a backup storage site or "genebank" for citrus germplasm in the form of small buds, called shoot tips, which have been cryopreserved—that is, plunged into liquid nitrogen for long-term cold storage.
Plant physiologist Gayle Volk of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is applying the procedure to create a long-term genebank for important citrus varieties, breeding lines and wild citrus species. She and her colleagues' efforts coincide with concern over the spread of citrus greening, an insect-borne disease first detected in Florida in August 2005 and which now threatens the nation's citrus crop, valued at $3.4 billion in 2011-12.
ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency, and the research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.
Some genebanks maintain living citrus trees in dedicated groves and screenhouses. But in cryopreservation, Volk saw a way to safeguard valuable germplasm without fear of losing it to insect or disease outbreaks, as well as natural disasters such as freezes, droughts and hurricanes. Instead of safeguarding whole plants or trees, her approach involves cutting tiny shoot tips from new growth, called "flush," and cryopreserving the material for storage inside state-of the-art vaults at the ARS National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) in Fort Collins, Colo.
Biological Pest Controls Combat Citrus Disease after Pesticide Failure eNews Park Forest HLB is one of the most severe plant diseases in the world and can affect any variety of citrus trees. The disease ...
25 September 2013, UC Davis News -- "The devastating disease Huonglongbing, or citrus greening, looms darkly over the United States, threatening to wipe out the nation's citrus industry, whose fresh fruit alone was valued at more than $3.4 billion in 2012.
Recently, however, a research team led by a University of California, Davis, plant scientist used DNA sequencing technologies to paint a broad picture of how citrus greening impacts trees before they even show signs of infection, offering hope for developing diagnostic tests and treatments for the currently incurable disease.
"Florida is seemingly in the death grip of citrus greening, and many experts believe it is just a matter of time before the disease appears full force in California," said plant molecular biologist Abhaya Dandekar, lead author on the study.
The new findings indicate that the bacterial disease interferes with starch and sugar metabolism in young and mature leaves and fruit, while also wreaking havoc with hormonal networks that are key to the trees' ability to fend off infections. Study results will be reported Sept. 25 in the journal PLOS ONE. ..."
Photo: The findings indicate the bacterial disease interferes with starch and sugar metabolism in young and matures leaves and fruit.
Two Australian inspection officers have prevented a potential incursion of citrus greening disease after seizing prohibited curry leaves at Melbourne airport.
The officers from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) discovered passengers traveling from India were carrying leaves and roots from the curry tree Murraya koenigii, infested with eggs and nymphs of the Asian citrus psyllid.
As this psyllid can carry citrus greening disease, also known as Huanglongbing (HLB), Australia has strict import conditions for citrus fruits and leaves, as well as parts of the related curry tree.
Citrus is one of the most important and widely grown fruit crop with global production ranking firstly among all the fruit crops in the world. Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis Annotation Project (CAP): A Comprehensive Database for Sweet Orange Genome.
Using DNA sequencing technologies, a research team led by a University of California, Davis, plant scientist has painted a broad picture of how the devastating disease Huonglongbing, or citrus greening, impacts citrus trees before they even show...
Following a public invitation from the EU for comments, an international group of experts has spoken out against the European evaluation of citrus black spot risk.
The working group represents interests from Brazil’s Fundecitrus and Instituto Biológico, South Africa’s Citrus Research Internacional, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Australian Department of Agriculture and specialists from Argentina.
The group has refuted the position taken by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which argues that the entrance of citrus contaminated with black spot could threaten the local industry and promote plant pathogen Phyllosticta citricarpa.
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