A UF/IFAS assistant professor shared updates on research into using trunk injections for citrus greening treatments.

Researchers have long been looking for a cure for citrus greening, and one shared the promise of of using trunk injections for citrus greening to “deliver the kill shot” in a recent All In For Citrus podcast, according to a Citrus Industry article. UF/IFAS researcher Ute Albrecht shared updates on research into using trunk injections to combat citrus greening. See the details below.

Using Trunk Injections for Citrus Greening

Using trunk injections for citrus greening is one way to get treatments to the trees’ phloem, where the bacteria that causes citrus greening is located. According to the article, trunk injections have held promise, but they are “expensive and labor-intensive.”

Albrecht said “Trunk injection to deliver product directly into the vascular system of the tree might be much more effective. It is used in forestry and ornamental plants to treat vascular diseases. These injections are made into the xylem of the tree. The phloem (where HLB lives) is a very thin strip in the inner bark of the tree trunk. We can’t directly inject anything into the phloem because it is too small to accept large molecules in large volumes. So, we must inject into the xylem to take advantage of its long, tubular cells that water and nutrients move through. If we inject materials into the xylem, they move on their own systemically throughout the tree. We are hoping on the way through the tree, these materials (that could potentially kill HLB) can move from the xylem into the phloem.”

She added that there have been “surprisingly good results with some of the trunk-injection methods tested,” according to the article. Research is continuing into making the process automated to save on time and cost. Additionally, researchers are also looking into new antibiotics materials to use as treatments to be injected.

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