Development of an Automated Delivery System for Therapeutic Materials to Treat HLB Infected Citrus


Development of an automated delivery system for therapeutic materials to treat HLB infected citrus

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Project Start Date:


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Project Objective:

The project goal is development of an Automated Delivery System (ADS) for liquids with potential to suppress or cure HLB.  To achieve this goal we need to develop an effective, efficient economically feasible delivery system that does not harm the tree, determine how and when to best inject a tree for effective transport to the pathogen site.  The final deliverable will be a delivery system growers understand how to use easily, efficiently and effectively.


Project Team Members, Roles and Specific Objectives:


Team Leader: Ozgur Batuman Ph.D.


Engineer: Yiannis Ampatzidis Ph.D.

-Development of an automated and economically feasible system to efficiently deliver HLB-therapeutic materials to citrus trees.


Physiologist: Dr. Ute Albrecht Ph.D.

-Deciphering the path of citrus vascular transport for uptake, movement, and distribution of therapeutic materials throughout the plant.

-Optimization of therapeutic application through delineation of daily and seasonal vascular transport dynamics of citrus trees.


Pathologists and Horticulturist: Nabil Killiny Ph.D., Amit Levy Ph.D., Veronica Ancona Ph.D., Fernando Alferez Ph.D.

-Evaluation of the ADS in field-grown citrus trees.


Economist: Tara Wade Ph.D.

-Evaluation of the economic feasibility of adopting the ADS and comparison of its benefits with currently used disease management strategies in Florida, Texas and California.


Extension Personnel: Fernando Alferez Ph.D., Louise Ferguson Ph.D.

-Development and implementation of an extension program.


Project  Introduction:

What is HLB?

Huanglongbing (HLB) or the citrus greening disease is a potentially life-threatening disease for citrus trees for which there is no cure. HLB is caused by the Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) bacterium and is vectored by the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP). The citrus industry in Florida has been devastated by HLB since it was first detected in August 2005. Although most of the citrus growing regions in California have not yet been affected by HLB, a CLas positive ACP has been found by researchers from the California Citrus Research Board from a commercial citrus grove in Riverside County. Moreover, since there is often a long incubation period between HLB infection and the first appearance of symptoms, it will be difficult to predict the spread of HLB in commercial citrus groves in California. Thus, citrus growers and policy makers will have to be careful about the spread of the disease.


Further Information:

Automated Delivery System for Citrus Therapeutics Website

Science for Citrus Health: Automated delivery system for therapeutic materials to treat HLB-infected citrus


Presentation Schedule

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