Explore the latest results concerning heat treatments and bactericides to combat citrus greening, also called HLB.


Florida citrus researchers have been looking for treatment options to fight citrus greening, also known as HLB, since it was detected in South Florida over a decade ago. One study focused on using heat to enhance the uptake of a certain bactericide used to fight citrus greening. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher, Christopher Vincent, shared the details in a Citrus Industry article. See his words below.

Heat Treatments and Bactericides


Vincent maintained the study was not about whether the bactericide in question would rid the citrus trees of citrus greening. “We treated trees that were not HLB infected, so this wasn’t looking at the efficacy of heat treatment against HLB,” he shared.

He explained that the study was meant to measure whether heat treatments would improve the uptake of the bactericide. “What we were most interested in was whether it would improve the uptake of oxytetracycline, which is an antimicrobial,” Vincent said. “It did not.” Another negative is that the treatment affected the growth of the trees. “It did have a negative effect on overall (tree) growth,” Vincent added, “both of the times we repeated it.”

The study did have one interesting find, however. “an interesting result that we got from it was that it seems that the oxytetracycline is becoming systemic in the plant and being loaded into the phloem at a significant rate. So, basically (there is) some evidence for foliar-applied antimicrobials becoming systemic,” Vincent explained.

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