Integrated Pest Management for Citrus Greening - Part 2
Yesterday, we reported on research being done at the University of Florida for an integrated pest management approach to controlling Asian citrus psyllid, the insect vector for citrus greening disease.
Bonning… “So the overall goal of the project is to identify the very best combination of BT - those bacterial pesticidal proteins - and gene silencing RNAs. So that we can downstream deliver both of them from either the citrus plant or a trap plant that could be used in the field.”
That’s Dr. Bryony Bonning who is in the department of entomology and nematology at the University of Florida. In order to apply their biological control, one method they are using is planting Indian Curry as a trap plant for the pest.
Bonning… “This plant flushes repeatedly. That means that it produces lots of young green leaves that are super attractive to the psyllids. And so the concept is that if you planted these plants around an orchard, that incoming psyllids would be highly attracted to them, would feed on those plants, and the silencing RNA and the BT pesticidal protein would kill the psyllid before they even made it into the orchard.”
Bonning emphasized that multiple approaches will be needed to control this catastrophic disease.