A symposium for citrus growers in September looked at the role of a fungal pathogen in causing fruit drop in citrus.

A September symposium hosted by KeyPlex, a plant health product supplier, looked at a number of topics in citrus, including the company’s peptide technology. It also presented findings on a fungal pathogen, Glomerella cingulate, which the symposium presented could be behind the fruit drop plaguing citrus growers, according to a Growing Produce article. See the details below.

Fungal Pathogen and Citrus

The symposium presented the findings of Mauricio Flores, a plant virologist with KeyPlex. According to the article, Flores found the fungus Glomerella cingulate, which is the sexual stage of the Colletotrichum gloesporoides fungi, on a coffee plantation in Costa Rica plagued by early and late fruit drop and twig dieback. By the second season, fruit drop was claiming 60 percent of the coffee plantation’s crop. Flores developed a fungicide program for the plantation that put an end to the disastrous fruit drop.

This past June, Flores gathered over 200 leaf, fruit, and twig samples from various Central Florida citrus groves and found large populations of the fungus Glomerella cingulate.

While more testing and research is needed to determine the relationship between this fungal pathogen and fruit drop in Florida citrus groves, the connection shows promise as it was already shown to be behind the fruit drop at the Costa Rica plantation.

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