For the first time, scientists have been able to measure the rate of bacteria that cause incurable citrus greening disease. Citrus greening disease (also known as Huanglongling) is the most destructive citrus greening disease in the world. The suffering tree grows yellow leaves and low quality fruits, eventually completely shutting down production and causing enormous economic loss to farmers.
Small insects carry the causative agent, citrus disease fungus (CLas), and inject it when they eat the sap. CLas also grows dependent on this sap and spreads throughout the tree. Using a new statistical modeling analysis and measurement approach, Plant pathologist I was able to follow CLas on a journey through the trees.
“I found that CLas can be moved with Average speed 2.9 to 3.8 cm per day. At these speeds, trees 3 meters high will be fully colonized by CLas in about 80-100 days. This is faster than the onset of symptoms and usually takes at least 4 months, “explains the plant Silvio A. Lopez. A pathologist based in Sao Paulo State University, Brazil.
In other words, the grower Citrus greening disease, The tree is already infected from the root to the top. This explains why removing symptomatic branches is not enough to cure a diseased tree.
Lopes et al. Also studied the effect of temperature on the rate of colonization. They already knew that CLas wouldn’t grow well in hot or cold environments, but now it’s a more specific number.
“We estimated that the optimal condition for CLas to move from one side to the other of the tree was 25.7 ° C (78 ° F),” says Lopes. This is the first time that the effect of temperature on CLas plant colonization has been experimentally demonstrated. “Growers can use this information to select areas where the risk of planting citrus trees is low.”
Laudecir L. Raiol-Junior et al, Modeling’Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ Movement within Citrus Plants, Plant pathology (2021). DOI: 10.1094 / PHYTO-12-20-0559-R
Courtesy of the American Society of Plant Pathology
Quote: Citrus greening disease can infect entire trees weeks before symptoms appear (December 14, 2021).
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Citrus greening disease can infect entire trees weeks before symptoms appear
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