See two other citrus diseases, phytophthora and citrus leprosis, to pay attention to, according to a UF/IFAS assistant professor.

Citrus greening is not the only citrus disease that Florida citrus growers need to be concerned about. UF/IFAS assistant professor Ozgur Batuman shared information on two citrus diseases that Florida citrus growers should be on the lookout for in their groves in a UF/IFAS webinar, according to a Citrus Industry article. See the details below.

Citrus Diseases to Watch For

Both of these citrus diseases can be deadly to citrus trees already infected with citrus greening.

Phytophthora. According to the article, phytophthora are soil-borne fungal pathogens that target the roots, trunks, and fruit, causing brown rot, foot rot, crown rot, and root rot.

While phytophthora has been controllable in the past, trees that are weakened by citrus greening can be seriously affected, even killed, but an additional phytophthora infection. Batuman said “In this case, improving fungicide timing, number and applications of rates are needed to achieve better control,” according to the article.

Citrus Leprosis. Citrus leprosis is not yet in Florida citrus groves, but it is common in Central and South America, including Mexico. Also common in Florida are false spider mites, the vector of citrus leprosis, meaning the disease could easily become a problem.

According to the article, the disease is characterized by “necrotic lesions, often with a yellow halo, on the leaf, bark (stem and trunk) and fruit at the feeding sites of the mites. The fruit lesions are usually pale in color at first and then may become dead in the center with a distinct yellow halo.” Batuman advised that “monitoring groves and early detection are essential” in the article. If leprosis is suspected, the article advises growers to contact a local Extension agent or the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry.

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