Progress is Being Made on Controlling Citrus Greening

By Tim Hammerich with the Ag Information Network 

Citrus Greening Disease, also know as Huanglongbing, has devastated farms in places like Florida, and poses a serious threat in California. Researchers at the University of California Riverside are making progress on potential control. Dr. Hailing Jin describes what makes this pathogen so difficult.

“First, this is a very special bacteria, which cannot be cultured in vitro. So it’s very hard to study. Second, they are phloem limited. They only stay in the phloem, the vasculature tissue of the whole tree. So it’s not very easy to detect on. Another important thing is that they are transmitted by flying insects called Asian Citrus Psyllid, so can be spread very quickly,” explained Jin.

Dr. Jin and colleagues have been researching plants that are tolerant to the disease to identify genes that may lead to natural defense. They plan to publish their research in the coming months.