Explore the various research studies being conducted into combating citrus greening and helping the citrus industry.

There are many different avenues of research into combating citrus greening currently underway. Some research targets the bacteria that cause the disease, others focus on the Asian citrus psyllid, and still others focus on helping citrus trees to combat the disease. See summaries of the newer research studies that are currently on-going from a Growing Produce series called “We Believe in Florida Citrus.” See the details below.

Research into Combating Citrus Greening

The series outlined the following research into combating citrus greening:

Targeting Psyllids. UF/IFAS researchers are using “2’-deoxy-2’-flouro-d-arabinonucleic acid antisense oligonucleotides (FANA ASO — small-sized single-stranded nucleic acids)” to “silence essential genes within Asian citrus psyllids and in the bacterial pathogen that causes citrus greening disease.”

Using Oak Tree Extract. A UF/IFAS graduate student is looking at the uses of oak tree extract, saying “Anecdotal reports from Florida growers claim that citrus trees growing within the drip line of large oak trees have minimal HLB symptoms, while trees nearby, but not under the oak drip line, show severe symptoms.”

Other research is looking into using a stable antimicrobial peptide (SAMP) to target the CLas bacterium, injecting a novel infectious RNA into citrus trees to essentially vaccinate the trees against the citrus greening bacteria, using individual protective covers (IPCs) to keep psyllids from infecting young citrus trees, and using reflective mulch and kaolin clay to deter Asian citrus psyllids.

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