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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics


Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Confirm the value of using windbreaks to reduce incidence and severity of citrus canker, and identify optimal ways to deploy them that are applicable in Florida. 2. Identify the contribution of leafminer to the canker epidemic, and demonstrate the effect of good leafminer control in reducing the canker epidemic. 3. Provide useful information on the efficacy of available bactericides, particularly copper compounds, under various weather conditions to help develop optimal spraying protocols sensitive to the crop development and weather in the field. Determine the efficacy of standard grove sanitation procedures. 4. Complete development of a computer controlled system (PLWC)by which the leaf wetness and other environmental factors can be measured, recorded, and controlled. 5. Use the PLWC system to test the effect of leaf wetness duration, on Xcc survival, as well as the interaction of Xcc with other bacteria on the leaf surface. 6. Augment/improve best management practices (BMPs) for citrus canker by determining combinations of wind breaks, insecticide treatments, copper sprays and grove management that will be available for testing in the field in Florida.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
1. Assess the individual and combined effects of windbreaks, copper sprays and leafminer control in reducing infection of citrus trees with citrus canker. 2. Analyze and investigate the leafminer control treatments to determine effects in reducing the incidence and severity of citrus canker in commercial citrus groves in Brazil, and assess the applicability of this strategy to the US commercial citrus industry in Florida. 3. Analyze data to identify the quantitative relationship between infestation densities of citrus leafminer and incidence and severity of citrus canker. Determine what thresholds exist for treatment. 4. Analyze data to determine the value of copper sprays in protecting plants under various weather conditions. 5. Test how bactericide (particularly copper) treatments stand up to different weather conditions (different wind/rain inoculum conditions). 6. Analyze data to determine if polymer delivery system can improve the efficacy and longevity of Cu++ and other metal ions for control of citrus canker under extreme conditions. 7. Analyze data to determine the efficacy of standard grove sanitation procedures. 8. Finalize the development and testing of the PWLC and use it to determine how bacterial survival relates to leaf surface conditions in a grove situation. Use the PLWC to determine how leaf wetness duration affects the survival of Xcc on the leaf surface. 9. Analyze data to determine if lengthening or shortening leaf wetness duration or amount will allow competitive bacteria to grow on the leaf surface and prevent the growth of Xcc. 10. Investigate the effects of other environmental conditions (temperature, RE, light) in combination with leaf wetness on the survivability and growth of Xcc. 11. Analyze data to identify ways of using available crop management techniques to minimize the survival of bacteria on plant surfaces.

3. Progress Report:
This research is related to inhouse project objective 3a. Develop and use stochastic models to test various disease control strategies for huanlongbing (HLB), Asiatic citrus canker (ACC), citrus black spot (CBS) and diseases caused by other exotic pathogens. The intent of this study is to examine the effect of windbreaks, copper sprays to reduce infection, and leafminer treatments to determine their individual and combined effects on control of citrus canker in Brazilian commercial citrus and the applicability of this strategy to the U.S. commercial citrus industry. Via a USDA/ARS specific cooperative agreement with the University of Sao Paulo, and the Brazilian cooperator, new replicated plots have now been established at the IAPAR farm, in Xambrê, Parana state, located 350 km west from Londrina and 250 km west from Maringá. The plots consist of the cultivar Pêra on Rangpur lime, two years of age at the beginning of the experiment. Windbreaks have been completed and plants were established in Mid April 2010. Plots are progressing and the following treatments are being applied: 1) no sprays (control), 2) Cu++ sprays to reduce citrus canker incidence, and 3) insecticide sprays to inhibit infestations of Asian leafminer (secondary effects). Main effects are windbreak versus no windbreaks. Citrus canker incidence is being estimated on multiple branches on each tree treated as the number of leaves per branch infected. Xambrê Paraná Brazil Plots: To quantify the effect of windbreaks, copper sprays, and insecticide sprays individual and combined effects on citrus canker management. In 2010 replicated field plots were established. I was soon evident that the screens used as windbreaks were not strong enough to provide the required effect. Thus in addition to the screens, we established natural windbreaks using Casuarina. Casuarina trees that are currently ~6 m high. There are a few canker-affected plants in the experimental area that will be pruned every 3 weeks. We forecast that in September/October 2013, trees will have developed enough canopy to allow inoculation and to start the experiment. During May, 2013 inspection, 25 plants showed HLB like symptoms. St Lucie Co. windbreak studies: Data from the windbreak system at the first location (5-y old Ray Ruby grapefruit, Estes Orchard, 11 acres, surrounded by 25-ft Corymbia torelliana) demonstrated a windbreak effect on canker incidence on fruit in August 2012. The weather stations (deployed in east-west and north-south directions) measured the effect of proximity to the windbreak on wind speed expressed as the number of wind gusts =11 mph. The relationship with incidence of fruit canker lesions was explored. In the period May -August 2012, the greater frequency of wind gusts = 11 mph, the higher the canker fruit incidence. The number of wind gusts = 11 mph increased with distance from the windbreak whether measured within the north to south rows or across the rows from east to west, resulting in a relationship between wind and disease incidence on fruit (R2=0.70). In August, the highest incidence of fruit disease (3.5%) was in the center of the 11 acre bock and the lowest incidence (0.4%) was on the end of the eastern most row nearest to the windbreak. Programmable leaf wetness controller (PLWC): During the previous quarter we developed a complex sensor that closest emulates a leaf. This pin sensor, is a flat surface, made from wax. Contact wires are then connected together in a pattern, so that a drop of water will bridge a “+” to a “-”, creating a connection. The more drops of water, the more connections; the more connections, the more current flow. Results from tests of the new leaf wetness “pin sensor” show that this arrangement is way more sensitive to water amount than any previously tested sensor. After some tweaking of the gain circuit on the DC-AC-DC board, we were able to show that with each successive drop of water, the voltage increased until there was a saturation of water. This is what we have been looking for as this will produce a scalar approximation of leaf wetness as opposed to the current Boolean systems. The drying time is a bit faster than a citrus leaf. To correct this we will add layer of silk to the top of the pin sensor. Previous work with the silks has shown that it dries in a similar amount of time to a leaf. In theory, this thin layer of silk will hold water to the sensor for a more realistic time.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 06/25/2017
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