Professor, University of Florida, IFAS, Soil and Water Science Department, Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred 33850
Plant Pathologist, Instituto Agronômico do Paraná, Lon-drina, Paraná, Brazil
Induced systemic resistance compounds (ISRs), acibenzolar-S-methyl (Actigard), and harpin protein (Messenger) were assayed in the greenhouse against Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citrumelo, the cause of citrus bacterial spot (CBS), and X. axonopodis pv. citri, the cause of Asiatic citrus canker. Actigard and Messenger applied as foliar sprays 3 to 7 days before inoculation reduced numbers of lesions when either bacterium at 103 or 104 CFU/ml was injection-infiltrated into Swingle citrumelo leaves. Based on this activity, the ISRs were evaluated in southern Brazil in orchards of sweet oranges with low to moderate canker disease incidence in spray programs with and without copper oxychloride (COC) and copper hydroxide (CuOH). Actigard and Messenger were applied full season or in the first two or three sprays of a six-spray program in an attempt to reduce early canker disease on foliage and thereby reduce subsequent fruit infection and premature drop. Sprays of COC and CuOH were moderately to highly effective in reducing canker disease incidence and preventing premature fruit drop. Actigard or Messenger in combination with COC and CuOH, respectively, did not significantly reduce citrus canker incidence on foliage or fruit drop compared with Cu alone. The lack of additional control with ISRs means they cannot be recommended at this time to augment Cu programs for management of citrus canker.