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Control of Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) via Trunk Injection of Plant Activators and Antibiotics

Jiahuai Hu: School of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona

<div><span style="font-family:'Verdana';">Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) or greening is a devastating disease of citrus worldwide and no effective control measure is currently available. In this study, eight plant activators and three antibiotics were evaluated in 3 field trials for their effect to control HLB by trunk injection of young and mature sweet orange trees. Results showed that 4 trunk injections of several activators including salicylic acid, oxalic acid, acibenzolar-S-methyl and potassium phosphate provided significant control of HLB by suppressing Las titer and disease progress. Trunk injection of penicillin, streptomycin and oxytetracycline hydrochloride resulted in excellent control of HLB. In general, antibiotics were more effective in reduction of Las titer and HLB symptom expressions than plant activators. These treatments also resulted in increased yield and better fruit quality. In summary, this study presents information regarding controlling HLB via trunk injection of plant defense activators and antibiotics, which helps citrus growers in decision-making regarding developing an effective HLB management program.</span></div>