See the details of research into Homobrassinolides hormones as a treatment against citrus greening, also known as HLB.
Researchers are looking for any treatment or application that will slow, halt, or reverse the damaging effects of citrus greening, also known as HLB. To that end, researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are looking into the usefulness of Homobrassinolides hormones, and they believe their research has shown promise, according to a Citrus Industry article. See details below.
Homobrassinolides Hormones Explained
Homobrassinolides hormones are a kind of plant growth regulator used to manipulate the various growth aspects of plants. According to a UF/IFAS publication, Homobrassinolides “play a pivotal role in a wide range of developmental phenomena in plants, such as cell division, cell differentiation, cell expansion, germination, leaf abscission, and stress response.”
According to the article, while the Homobrassinolides (HBr) have not had an affect on the bacteria that cause citrus greening, they have shown an improvement in tree growth elements.
Fernando Alferez, an assistant professor of horticultural sciences with UF/IFAS and a faculty member at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) in Immokalee who is leading the research team said, “In preliminary research, we have been able to see some positive effects of HBr on citrus tree health and fruit production.”
Positive effects include:
- fruit is maturing faster
- fruit is 20% heavier
- a reduction in the number of oranges that drop from the trees
- 15 to 20% more fruit per tree
- Increased indicators of better tree health, such as more chlorophyll
Researchers believe the HBr hormone may help citrus trees to thrive despite citrus greening, or even to help control maturing timetables for citrus. “That, in turn, may result in better overall tree health and increased yields,” Alferez said in the article. “For these reasons, this season we will explore the potential of HBr as a new managerial tool to improve tree health and manage new leaves and blooming.”
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