See the results of research on brassinosteroids and citrus by UF/IFAS assistant professors Fernando Alferez.

A January OJ Break at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida, featured UF/IFAS assistant professors Fernando Alferez sharing the results of research on brassinosteroids and citrus, according to a Citrus Industry article. See the highlights below.

What Brassinosteroids Are

According to a different Citrus Industry article, “Brassinosteroids (BRs) are a natural group of hormones that regulate physiological and biochemical attributes that include seed germination, flower development, root formation and resistance to various abiotic and biotic stresses. BRs have shown promise in reducing pests and diseases in a wide range of plants, including citrus.

A commercial formulation of BRs has been approved for use in Florida citrus. Although BR treatment increases resistance to a wide range of pathogens in plants, the role of BR in plant responses to pathogens is complicated, and the regulation of immunity occurs at multiple levels. In citrus affected by HLB, some genes associated with systemic acquired resistance are enhanced by BR treatment.”

Details of Research on Brassinosteroids and Citrus

According to the first article, Alferez shared that the research showed that brassinosteroids and citrus:

  • “Induce immunity to HLB in young citrus trees
  • Increase tree vigor
  • Reduce HLB-spreading psyllids in new flushes
  • Reduce canker and greasy spot
  • Synchronize flushing
  • Increase fruit yield and quality in different varieties”

The second article maintained monthly foliar applications could protect young citrus trees once Individual Protective Covers (IPCs) are removed.

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