A recent report by UF/IFAS professors looks at the effects of homobrassinolides when used to combat citrus greening, also known as HLB.

Citrus greening is having disastrous effects on Florida’s citrus industry, and a report on homobrassinolides by three UF/IFAS assistant professors maintains that, in light of those effects, “horticultural practices that improve plant health in the presence of the disease are needed.” The report looks at the effects of brassinosteroids, a “group of plant hormones that regulate multiple developmental and physiological processes,” showing how they seem to have positive effects on plant infected with citrus greening. They are broken into epibrassinolide and homobrassinolide (HBr). See the highlights of the report below.

Positive Effects of Homobrassinolides on Citrus Greening

Highlights of the report include:

  • “EBL was shown to reduce Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) bacterial titer and alleviate symptoms of HLB in mature citrus trees in Cuba.”
  • “In a greenhouse trial, bacterial titers were reduced to non-detectable levels. In the field, a seven-fold reduction of bacterial titer was measured.”
  • In a Florida-based study that replicates the Cuban study, “Total fruit yield at the end of the experiment was higher in trees treated with higher HBr concentration (242.5 pounds) compared with trees treated with the lower concentration (210.1 pounds) and with water controls (191.7 pounds).”
  • “Average fruit weight and diameter increased significantly in response to the higher HBr concentration (Figure 4). The higher retention force of the fruit to the tree may explain the increase in yield at the end of the experiment.”

The report concluded “Determining appropriate timing of product application may allow HBr to be used as a new management tool for Florida citrus growers. The lack of effect on bacterial population could be due to the fact that the study is still in its early stage. Nevertheless, results from our study suggest that HBr treatment may improve tree health and, therefore, tolerance and productivity of infected trees. The study will continue for an additional year to investigate whether homobrassinolide applications are a suitable management practice to combat HLB.”

See the full report here.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.