Integrated Pest Management for Citrus Greening Disease
The University of Florida received nearly $4.5 million in USDA grants to fight citrus greening, otherwise known as huanglongbing.
One of the projects that will receive some of that funding combines two biological strategies that are proven to help control Asian Citrus Psyllid, which is a vector for the citrus greening disease.
Here’s Dr. Bryony Bonning who is in the department of entomology and nematology at the University of Florida.
Bonning… “So our goal for the Asian citrus psyllid project is to develop new approaches for reducing the psyllid populations. So approaches that would be environmentally friendly rather than the current widespread application of chemical insecticides that will kill all the insects that they come into contact with.”
The approach Dr. Bonning will be working on involves combining insect killing bacteria bacillus thuringiensis, or BT, with gene silencing. She says, though, controlling Asian Citrus Psyllid will still require an integrated approach.
Bonning… “I should emphasize that this new tool that we're in the process of developing will be used alongside other tools from other research groups in a sort of integrated pest management approach to manage not only the psyllids, but also the pathogen that causes citrus greening.”
Tune in tomorrow for more on the research being done to control citrus greening disease.