1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this cooperative research project is to develop a protocol that can be applied to initial finds of HLB (Huanglongbing or greening disease) in a previously uninfested region, or establishing and maintaining an HLB-free area within an infested region. Control of the vector Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) on an area-wide basis will be the major emphasis of this research.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The research approach will identify the major technologies available for ACP pest management, and methods for removal of infected trees. Then, through block treatments, determine the optimal application of methods, identify needed technologies, and integrate these into an overall protocol for protecting commercial citrus orchards from disease outbreaks. Components include: 1. Rapid accurate methods to identify infected psyllids and plants. 2. Effective and acceptable methods of eliminating psyllid populations. 3. Sampling methods to evaluate population sizes, reproduction, and movement of psyllids. 4. Methods for determining distribution of all psyllid host material in treatment blocks. 5. Methods for predicting growth flushes and reproduction of psyllid populations. 6. Perform analysis of host species effects for both commercial citrus and wild or dooryard citrus and ornamental species.
Two technicians were hired to work in the USDA-certified Huanglongbing (HLB) diagnosis lab at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center. The technicians extracted DNA from both leaf and psyllid samples sent to the lab for diagnosis from USDA-ARS research sites, USDA-APHIS survey sites, Texas Department of Agriculture nursery surveys, and the Citrus Center survey/research sites. In 2010, a total of 11,328 psyllids and 5,310 plant samples were tested; in 2011 (Jan.-June) 3,078 psyllids and 4,779 plant samples have been tested to date. No positives have been reported.
The ADODR is in contact with the cooperator by phone and email each month to discuss any modifications not specified in the original research agreement.