UCR’s Dr. Charles Coggins Memorial Service Sept. 7 2:00 pm

Coggins Served As Long Time Citrus Plant Pathologist

The family of Dr. Charlie Coggins would like to welcome all citrus industry friends to attend his memorial service at First Baptist Church 51 West Olive Avenue Redlands, California 92393

Charles W. Coggins, Jr. passed away on Aug 18, 2019 at the age of 88. Coggins served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the California Citrus Quality Council from November 1992 to January 2008. In 2003, he was presented with CCQC’s highest honor, the Albert G. Salter Memorial award which recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to and achievements in the citrus industry.

Charles Coggin

Coggins was an industry pioneer who recognized the potential advances with plant growth regulators (PGRs), beginning with gibberellic acid (GA) and continuing with programs to retain 2,4-D. It was said that his research on PGRs has been described as the single most economically beneficial research result of the last century. He authored more than 100 technical publications and nearly 50 semi-technical publications that have proved to be invaluable tools for citrus growers worldwide. He was the recipient of numerous awards for his leadership, agricultural excellence and research accomplishments.

Coggins, Professor Emeritus of Plant Physiology, officially retired from the University of California Riverside in 1994. During his 37 years at the University, he served as Chairman of the UC Riverside Department of Plant Sciences and helped create the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences. He also served 15 years as Executive Secretary/Treasurer for the International Society of Citriculture. To help succeeding generations of researchers, Coggins created The Coggins Endowed Scholarship Fund at UCR to provide financial assistance for graduate students in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences who demonstrate academic excellence, quality research and benefit to the citrus industry.

Charles Coggins inspecting citrus earlier in his career at UCR

He was born November 17, 1930 in North Carolina. He was proceeded in death by two sons from cystic fibrosis. He is survived by his wife Irene of 68 years, a son and four grandchildren. A memorial service is pending. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to support his scholarship at UCR in honor of him, to the Parkinson’s disease foundation or cystic fibrosis charities. Cards can be sent to 819 Alden Road, Redlands, CA 92373.

ACP Quarantine in San Joaquin County, Guidelines and Scholarship

Expanded ACP Quarantine

Two portions of San Joaquin County have been placed under Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) quarantine following detections of one ACP within the City of Manteca and one within the City of Lodi. The quarantine zone in Manteca measures 105 square miles and in Lodi it measures 95 square miles.

The quarantine prohibits the movement of citrus and curry tree nursery stock out of the quarantine area and requires that all citrus fruit be cleaned of leaves and stems prior to moving out of the quarantine area. An exception may be made for nursery stock and budwood grown in USDA-approved structures that are designed to keep ACP and other insects out. Residents with backyard citrus trees in the quarantine area are asked not to transport citrus fruit or leaves, potted citrus trees, or curry leaves from the quarantine area.

Asian citrus psyllid (Source: UC ANR)
Asian citrus psyllid (Source: UC ANR)

The ACP, a tiny (0.125 in. length) mottled brown insect that is about the size of an aphid, is an invasive species of grave concern because it can carry the disease huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening. All citrus and closely related species such as curry trees are susceptible, and there is no cure. Once infected, a diseased tree will decline in health with yellowing shoots, asymmetrical leaf mottling and abnormally shaped bitter fruit until it dies—typically within three years.  HLB was detected once in California, in 2012, on a residential property in Hacienda Heights, Los Angeles County.  This plant disease does not affect human health.

Residents in the area who think they may have seen ACP or symptoms of HLB on their citrus trees are urged to call CDFA’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.  For more information on the ACP and HLB, please visit: www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/acp

ACP Effective Treatments

The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program  has developed treatment guidelines for citrus growers within the quarantine zones. A general principle when applying insecticides to control ACPs in commercial citrus is that no one insecticide fully controls ACP across all life stages because:

  • All stages are difficult to contact with insecticides; eggs and nymphs are tucked inside new foliage and adults can fly.
  • Some insecticides show better efficacy against one stage over another.
  • Because systemic neonicotinoid insecticides require root activity for uptake, they are best applied during June through September.

The UC IPM Guidelines for Citrus provides a ranked list of insecticides that are effective against the Asian citrus psyllid with the pesticides having the greatest IPM value listed first—the most effective and least harmful to natural enemies, honeybees, and the environment are at the top of the table.

According to Mark Hoddle, UC Riverside (UCR) Director, Center for Invasive Species Research, “The science of biological control, the use of a pest’s natural enemies to suppress its populations to less damaging densities,” shows promise against the ACP with releases over the last three years of Tamarixia radiata–a parasitic wasp from Pakistan–in urban areas of southern California Thus far, this natural ACP enemy helps to control ACP growth in residential areas, but is inadequate for commercial application.

Biological Control Scholarship Fund

Harry Scott Smith (Source: Citrus Research Board, "Citrograph")
Harry Scott Smith (Source: Citrus Research Board, “Citrograph”)

Harry Scott Smith was the first to use the phrase “biological control” in 1919 at the meeting of Pacific Slope Branch of the American Association of Economic Entomologists at the Mission Inn in Riverside. Smith worked on the biological control of gypsy moth with USDA, then moved to the University of California Riverside where he eventually created and chaired the Department of Biological Control, which offered the only graduate degree in biological control in the world.

The Harry Scott Smith Biological Control Scholarship Fund at UCR aims to attract the brightest students to study biological control by providing assistance to its students to attend conferences to present their research or to participate in training workshops. More information on the Scholarship, past awardees, and a list of donors can be reviewed on the website.

Sources: CDFA; UC IPM; UC Riverside (UCR); UCR Center for Invasive Species Research; USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)