UF/IFAS Professor Wins $300,000 Grant For Citrus Greening Research

A University of Florida researcher who helped develop a mathematical model to show how citrus greening spreads within infected trees has received a $300,000 grant from the Esther B. O’Keeffe Foundation to expand the model.

Ariena van Bruggen, a UF plant pathology professor, received the award so she can study the best strategies to combat citrus greening from tree to tree. There is no cure for citrus greening, but methods being used to slow the disease include removal of symptomatic trees, insect control, and attempts to boost the tree’s immune system, van Bruggen said. “I want to find out with this model which is the more important part of the solution,” she said. “Can we actually boost the immune system of the tree enough so that that would give you proper control? More likely it’s a combination of factors. But perhaps the moving of diseased trees, as it has been done so far, is not going to be as effective.”

Removing diseased new growth – called flush, or shoots – solves little, the current model shows. Even without showing symptoms, many shoots may already be infected. That means other tree parts can get infected.
The model developed by van Bruggen and colleagues was published in 2012 by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It showed once a tree is infected, insecticides applied early on may only slow, rather than halt, the disease’s progression.

Foundation trustee Brian O’Keeffe said van Bruggen’s research provides crucial information to understand the spread of citrus greening.

“Such increased understanding could help develop better techniques in hopefully managing the disease,” O’Keeffe said.

The importance of such studies has been underscored in the past month by USDA’s $1 million additional research funding to its emergency response against citrus greening spreading nationwide, he said.

“Understanding the transmission of the disease within an infected tree is essential to try to defend the existence of Florida’s and many other states’ citrus industries,” O’Keeffe said.

Source: UF/IFAS

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Citrus Stories
Citrus
April 27, 2017
Trump Creates Agricultural Task Force
Panel to examine issues facing today’s growers including labor, food safety, and regulations. Read More
Citrus
April 26, 2017
Perdue Sworn in as Ag Secretary
USDA launches Twitter account to help promote the industry. Read More
Judi Whitson, 2016 Florida Woman of the Year in Agriculture
Citrus
April 24, 2017
Who Will Be Florida’s next Woman of the Year in Agriculture?
Nomination period now open for longstanding recognition from FDACS. Read More
Citrus
April 23, 2017
Bio Huma Netics, Inc., and Mesa Verde Resources Expand Product Selection
Strategic alliance between the two companies is designed to offer customers greater access to products. Read More
Washington Capitol building
Citrus
April 21, 2017
Alliance Stepping Up Efforts to Protect Specialty Crops
The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance has kicked off its efforts to communicate to Congress its priority needs for the Read More
farm labor pic for web
Citrus
April 20, 2017
Farm Labor Is in Crisis
To have a great crop potentially rot in the field because workers can’t be sourced is probably worse than a weather event taking out production. Read More
Barnes Farm cabbage field in Hastings, FL
Citrus
April 18, 2017
Florida Growers Seeking Inspiration Need Not Look Far
The firsthand experience of speaking with farmers and actually seeing all the hard work, knowledge, ingenuity, and people behind where our food comes from is invaluable. Read More
Citrus
April 18, 2017
Citrus Growth Path Uncertain as Florida Real Estate Surges
According to the latest Lay of the Land Market Report, the waiting game for a solution to greening has tempered groves sales. Read More
drought management; irrigation; water management
Citrus
April 17, 2017
Florida Flush with Water Shortage Warnings
Conservation practices preached throughout the state as exceptionally dry pattern persists.  Read More
Citrus
April 17, 2017
Natural Enemies for Asian Citrus Psyllid
The eventual spread of Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening, to commercial groves in California seems inevitable. But the devastation seen Read More
Georgia Citrus Association grove tour meeting
Citrus
April 15, 2017
Georgia Citrus Seeking to Make Its Mark
Florida's neighbors to the north are getting serious about citrus, for good reason. Read More
Specialty vegetable farm market display
Citrus
April 14, 2017
How Florida Growers Are Agritaining and Gaining
Come one, come all — big and small — there are multiple ways to benefit from Agritourism. Read More
Citrus
April 12, 2017
Florida Company Seeks Approval of Novel Approach to Fight Citrus Greening
USDA prepares impact statement on technology that introduces a spinach defensin protein into trees via the tristeza virus. Read More
Laboratory beakers
Citrus
April 12, 2017
USDA Announces Nearly $22 Million in HLB Research Funding
Agency has invested $57 million on the deadly citrus disease since 2014. Read More
Citrus
April 11, 2017
Florida Citrus Stuck in Crop Forecast Funk
Latest estimate from USDA shows no change for oranges; grapefruit count gets squeezed. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
April 29, 2017
Florida Ag Commissioner Pushes for Probe…
With a focus on Mexico, letter sent by Adam Putnam to the U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary stresses need for level playing field. Read More
Citrus
April 28, 2017
EPA Approves New Plant Growth Stimulant
RIO from Arysta LifeScience North America is labeled for use on citrus, vegetables, tree fruit, strawberries, grapes, and nuts. Read More
Citrus
April 27, 2017
The California Citrus Grower Defines Lea…
While HLB wreaked havoc elsewhere, the California citrus industry came together and formed an action plan. Read More
Citrus
April 27, 2017
Trump Creates Agricultural Task Force
Panel to examine issues facing today’s growers including labor, food safety, and regulations. Read More
Citrus
April 26, 2017
Perdue Sworn in as Ag Secretary
USDA launches Twitter account to help promote the industry. Read More
Citrus
April 24, 2017
Who Will Be Florida’s next Woman of the …
Nomination period now open for longstanding recognition from FDACS. Read More
Citrus
April 23, 2017
Bio Huma Netics, Inc., and Mesa Verde Re…
Strategic alliance between the two companies is designed to offer customers greater access to products. Read More
Citrus
April 21, 2017
Alliance Stepping Up Efforts to Protect …
The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance has kicked off its efforts to communicate to Congress its priority needs for the Read More
Citrus
April 20, 2017
Farm Labor Is in Crisis
To have a great crop potentially rot in the field because workers can’t be sourced is probably worse than a weather event taking out production. Read More
Citrus
April 18, 2017
Florida Growers Seeking Inspiration Need…
The firsthand experience of speaking with farmers and actually seeing all the hard work, knowledge, ingenuity, and people behind where our food comes from is invaluable. Read More
Citrus
April 18, 2017
Citrus Growth Path Uncertain as Florida …
According to the latest Lay of the Land Market Report, the waiting game for a solution to greening has tempered groves sales. Read More
Citrus
April 17, 2017
Florida Flush with Water Shortage Warnin…
Conservation practices preached throughout the state as exceptionally dry pattern persists.  Read More
Citrus
April 17, 2017
Natural Enemies for Asian Citrus Psyllid
The eventual spread of Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening, to commercial groves in California seems inevitable. But the devastation seen Read More
Citrus
April 15, 2017
Georgia Citrus Seeking to Make Its Mark
Florida's neighbors to the north are getting serious about citrus, for good reason. Read More
Citrus
April 14, 2017
How Florida Growers Are Agritaining and …
Come one, come all — big and small — there are multiple ways to benefit from Agritourism. Read More
Citrus
April 12, 2017
Florida Company Seeks Approval of Novel …
USDA prepares impact statement on technology that introduces a spinach defensin protein into trees via the tristeza virus. Read More
Citrus
April 12, 2017
USDA Announces Nearly $22 Million in HLB…
Agency has invested $57 million on the deadly citrus disease since 2014. Read More
Citrus
April 11, 2017
Florida Citrus Stuck in Crop Forecast Fu…
Latest estimate from USDA shows no change for oranges; grapefruit count gets squeezed. Read More