Research out of the University of Central Florida shows that the bactericide zinkicide shows promise in fighting citrus greening.

Florida citrus growers may soon have a new weapon in their arsenal against citrus greening, also called HLB: zinkicide. According to a Citrus Industry article, the University of Central Florida has been conducting research and trials into the new bactericide, and the results thus far have been good. See the details of the new bactericide below.

Zinkicide Research

Research on the new bactericide has been underway at the University of Central Florida, according to researcher Swadeshmukul Santra at the Florida Citrus Mutual annual conference in Bonita Springs, and the results “look very promising.”

Bactericides attack the bacteria that cause citrus greening in the vascular tissues of citrus trees. “Zinkicide was designed specifically for HLB … Zinkicide is a new active ingredient. It’s a nano zinc oxide,” Santra shared, adding that “Zinc has not been registered as a bactericide in the past.”

Clearance for bactericide use was pushed through the EPA on an emergency status to allow Florida citrus growers to utilize bactericides in the fight against citrus greening. The article maintains that “a potential registrant is considering pursuing zinkicide’s registration with the Environmental Protection Agency.”

While bactericides have not been a silver bullet against citrus greening, researchers are working on ways to make them more effective in the field, such as through creating an automated delivery system that injects citrus trees with bactericides directly into their vascular tissues.

Santra maintained that he believed zinkicide could be a useful addition to a citrus grower’s integrated pest management program.

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