Research is ongoing into a trap crop to attract Asian citrus psyllid, the vector that spreads citrus greening, away from Florida citrus trees.

Targeting Asian citrus psyllids, the insect vector that spreads citrus greening, has been a focus of research into combating the greening disease, and one entomologist has been studying the usefulness of a trap crop, according to a Citrus Industry article. Pakistan entomologist Muhammad Arshad shared his research in the journal, Entomology Today, into Assyrian plum, or lasura, to lure psyllids away from citrus trees. See key points from the article below.

Trap Crop Details

The article shared the following points:

  • “The host range of ACP includes more than 25 species in the Rutaceae family (order: Sapindales), and it is well-established on almost all citrus cultivars throughout citrus producing countries. However, ACP may feed on a wide range of alternative host plants other than Rutaceae. While some of these alternative host plants may serve only as a temporary or partial host and may not be suitable for reproduction and growth of insects, these plants are important because they allow the insects to survive in the absence of their preferred hosts.”
  • “In March 2019, a new plant was added to this list of alternate hosts, when my colleagues Muhammad Irfan Ullah, Naciye Sena Çağatay, Fatma Dikmen, Asad Abdullah and Muhammad Afzal and I reported ACP feeding on Cordia myxaplants in the south region of the state of Punjab, Pakistan.”
  • “The development of alternative control strategies, such as trap cropping, will require a thorough understanding of ACP ecology and behavior in relation to the findings of host plants.”
  • “To begin evaluating  myxa’srole as a host plant for ACP, my colleagues and I studied whether ACP found on C. myxa carried Candidatus Liberibactor asiaticus (CLas). We found that, although ACP can be infected with CLas on C. myxa, bacterial levels were lower in ACP on C. myxa than on citrus cultivars, probably due to the lower ACP reproduction rates in C. myxa.”
  • “Although the bacteria were detected in ACP on  myxa, there is need to study the CLas acquisition and transmission efficiency of ACP in C. myxaplant. If the transmission efficiency is lower in C. myxa plant, that means it would be a good host for ACP but a poor host for CLas, so it may be used as a potential trap crop to attract ACP.”

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