Current research using brassinosteroids after IPCs being conducted by UF/IFAS is showing promise in maintaining tree health.

Florida citrus growers are using individual protective covers (IPCs) to keep young citrus trees from being infected by citrus greening for as long as possible. IPCs are mesh bags that keep the Asian citrus psyllid, the vector that spreads citrus greening, from feeding on the tree and spreading citrus greening. However, after a few years, IPCs must come off, so researchers are looking for something to help maintain tree health. Scientists are currently conducting research on utilizing brassinosteroids after IPCs come off, according to a UF/IFAS Tip of the Week, and the results thus far have been promising,. See the details below.

Results of Using Brassinosteroids After IPCs

The research project is being funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture since brassinosteroids have been approved for commercial use in Florida citrus. According to the article, the research looking at using brassinosteroids after IPCs has only been underway for a few months, the results have been promising so far. Results of brassinosteroids (Brs) include:

  • “Treatment with Brs prevented CLas infection four months after IPC removal,” indicating that “Brassinosteroids delay HLB progression after IPC removal.”
  • “After Brs treatment, trees are flushing more profusely and setting more fruit,” indicating “Brassinosteroids delay HLB progression after IPC removal.
  • “Less psyllids per flush were found,” indicating “Brassinosteroids delay HLB progression after IPC removal.”

The article does maintain that “Long-term efficacy of treatments still must be assessed.”

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