Uncovering How HLB Acts Inside a Citrus Tree (Citrus Industry)

Uncovering How HLB Acts Inside a Citrus Tree

Amit Levy with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) describes research he’s conducting into the way the causal agent of HLB interacts with a citrus tree. The causal agent is the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus(CLas).

Levy, whose research is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, says CLas is found in a citrus tree’s phloem. Phloem is very small, narrow tissue deep inside the tree and hard to reach, he adds.

“The bacteria is found in a very strange, sporadic way; it’s not equally distributed,” and is found in only very small amounts in the phloem, says Levy, a plant pathologist at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.

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