Citrus Research and Extension Projects
The United States is the third largest citrus producer in the world, for both juicing and fresh market varieties. Huanglongbing (HLB) is a devastating disease that poses a major threat to US citrus production. The implicated causal agent is an unculturable, phloem inhabiting bacterium. In the US, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), is the primary bacterial species associated with HLB. Symptoms include hard, bitter and misshapen fruit, chlorosis, limb dieback and phloem plugging. This bacterium is spread by the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri.
To fight HLB, the University of California, Riverside, and in collaboration with US research institutions, has received funding from several agencies including the US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program, the California Department of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the California Citrus Research Board. The goals of the funded project(s) are to (1) Develop phloem-optimized bactericides that target CLas; and (2) Implement citrus undercover production systems (CUPS).