Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing disease
UC ANR Research at a Glance - Fighting to Protect California Citrus
UC ANR is working to . . .
. . . educate communities about this serious threat to California’s citrus
. . . keep infected plants out of California
ANR scientists at UC Riverside are developing a legal source of popular, non-citrus plants that host ACP, such as bael tree and curry leaf, plants from India used in cuisine and traditional medicine. This program will provide clients with clean plants to reduce the incentive for smuggling plants and plant material into California that potentially harbor the insect and/or its disease.
. . . protect plants in nurseries
. . . catch the insect and disease before it spreads
. . . build a better insect trap
ANR scientists at UC Riverside are testing olfactory neurons in the insect’s antennae to screen hundreds of chemicals as possible attractants and/or repellents. This could lead to better traps and/or repellents to protect citrus trees.
. . . introduce natural enemies to kill the insect
ANR researchers at UC Riverside are developing methods for mass rearing two insect natural enemies that theycollected from Pakistan. These two tiny wasps lay eggs inside bug nymphs; the hatching larvae eat the nymphs, killing them. Releases of one of the wasps are under way in urban areas of Southern California.
. . . detect the disease sooner
Scientists at UC Riverside are working to identify the disease-induced molecules that will indicate whether a citrus tree is infected with the disease long before the plant expresses symptoms.
Meanwhile, other UC Riverside scientists believe that pathogen-specific proteins in a citrus plant’s phloem tissue could be a more reliable disease detection tool than the pathogen itself. The method was used successfully with citrus stubborn disease.
. . . develop methods to protect organic citrus
Scientists with UC Cooperative Extension are exploring treatment options for homeowners and farmers who do not use synthetic pesticides on their citrus. The current recommendation for organic growers is to spray a low rate of oil on trees at 14-day intervals. At Lindcove Research and Extension Center, the effects of this treatment on citrus health productivity and fruit quality are being evaluated. A Cooperative Extension advisor is screening additional organic insecticides on a greenhouse colony of ACP to find products that may have greater persistence and efficacy against the insect.
. . . find cost-effective solutions for pest and disease management
. . . find long-term solutions to this deadly insect and disease
UC Ag Experiment Station scientists in Davis are using bioengineering to develop rootstocks that are resistant to HLB and other diseases, helping citrus evolve into a plant that is immune to the disease caused by ACP.
Meanwhile, researchers in Florida have found trifoliate orange rootstock to have some natural resistance to the disease. Now they are working with UC ANR scientists to transfer this resistance to edible citrus varieties.
Learn more about UC ANR efforts to address the problem:
- Ensure that citrus trees start out HLB-free.
- Reduce ACP populations.
- Detect HLB-infected trees so they can be removed as quickly as possible.
- Find a long-term cure.
- Engage the public and enlist their help in fighting Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing disease.