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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #301224

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Citrus for Enhanced Resistance to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: Horticulture take-home messages. Grower Day Summary: 2011 International HLB Meeting, Orlando, Florida

Author
item Stover, Ed

Submitted to: International Research Conference on Huanglongbing
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2011
Publication Date: 4/1/2011
Citation: Stover, E.W. 2011. Horticulture take-home messages. Grower Day Summary: 2011 International HLB Meeting, Orlando, Florida. In: Proceedings of the International Research Conference on Huanglongbing. p. 229, January 10-14, 2011, Orlando, Florida. Available: www.plantmanagementnetwork.org.

Interpretive Summary: The 2nd International Research Conference on Huanglongbing covered 3 full days, with 400 participants from 20 countries. There were 75 oral presentations and 96 posters. Urgency of HLB as a threat to citrus production and substantial grower investment in research has fully engaged numerous researchers to find solutions. Tools and knowledge are being assembled for much greater future progress and growers want a glimpse. The urgency of need to save existing trees has compelled strong interest in developing therapeutics to lessen effect of HLB and protect existing trees. Tremendous progress has occurred in genomics of host, pathogen, and vector - essentially providing the wiring diagram to fix “what’s broken”. The research community is developing tools that will open up cutting edge technologies that make this “a golden age for biology”. Take home message: If knowledge is power, our knowledge of HLB, Liberibacter, ACP, and their interaction with Citrus has expanded many-fold over the last 2 years. The assembled understanding is reaching a critical mass that will soon reveal outstanding tools for living with HLB. It is anticipated that a series of ever better solutions will emerge over the coming years.

Technical Abstract: The 2nd International Research Conference on Huanglongbing covered 3 full days, with 400 participants from 20 countries. There were 75 oral presentations, 96 posters, and I took 20 pages of notes. Urgency of HLB as a threat to citrus production and the engine of substantial grower investment has fully engaged numerous researchers to find solutions. In 2 years of this effort, there are only a few new ideas or mature recommendations ready for implementation. Tools and knowledge are being assembled for much greater future progress and I assume growers want a glimpse. The urgency of need to save existing trees has compelled strong interest in developing therapeutics to lessen effect of HLB. Nutritional treatments are controversial, but seem to provide a benefit in some situations. Antibiotic treatments have provided marked benefits in pilot studies. Other therapeutic methods are being studied to protect existing trees. Two studies reported that seed from HLB infected highly symptomatic fruit did not result in plants with HLB. One researcher showed that CLas is often present in vascular bundles of seed coats which may explain the reports of early PCR+ seedlings. Tremendous progress has occurred in genomics of host, pathogen, and vector - essentially providing the wiring diagram to fix “what’s broken”. The research community is developing tools that will open up cutting edge technologies that make this “a golden age for biology”, such as exploring genes related to HLB resistance/susceptibility, assessing resistance in conventional breeding/ scions/rootstocks, and developing transgenics. Existing HLB resistance appears to not be ready for prime time, but there is evidence that there are differences in susceptibility which may have economic value. Take home message: If knowledge is power, our knowledge of HLB, Liberibacter, ACP, and their interaction with Citrus has expanded many-fold over the last 2 years. The assembled understanding is reaching a critical mass that will soon reveal outstanding tools for living with HLB. It is anticipated that a series of ever better solutions will emerge over the coming years.