UF/IFAS researchers team up with multiple agencies to conduct citrus field trials on natural compounds to combat citrus greening.

Scientists have identified many natural compounds that may have the ability to combat citrus greening. UF/IFAS researchers and those from other agencies, such as the USDA, are conducting citrus field trials on an array of natural compounds to test their ability to combat citrus greening, according to a Citrus Industry article. The research is being funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture. See the details below.

Details on Citrus Field Trials

According to the article, “Field tests of numerous antibacterial products and plant-derived compounds are underway with the goal of eliminating the HLB-causing bacteria in citrus and reversing plant damage to restore tree health.” UF/IFAS plant root biologist and the project’s lead investigator, Lorenzo Rossi, shared the details of the citrus field trials, including that the project was aimed at finding “specific natural, plant-derived antimicrobial compound capable of killing Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, the HLB-causing bacterium.

While the article doesn’t specify what products and compounds were being tested in the field trials, it’s likely compound like oak leaf extract and citrus peptides. Researchers are looking for others to add to the list of compounds to test. “The good thing about this project is that if there are growers who have a compound that they believe has an effect against HLB, they can bring the compound to us at UF or to Dr. Shatters at the USDA, and we will evaluate this compound with field studies,” Rossi said in the article. Dr. Rossi can be reached at l.rossi@ufl.edu.

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