Citrus growers in areas like Letsitele, Hoedspruit and Onderberg have decided to pick their grapefruit earlier in order to benefit from an empty market. Despite this decision, the grapefruit still conform to market requirements. This has allowed South Africa to be the sole grapefruit supplier on the market for about six months.
Scientists from Penn State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have developed a diagnostic test that enables early detection of Huanglongbing (HLB) by detecting the presence of the bacterium that causes the disease, i.e. Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). Early detection of CLas is vital in controlling the spread of HLB because trees that have been infected by CLas can serve as a disease reservoir for years before symptoms are visible.
Researchers at the University of California have identified stable antimicrobial peptides (SAMPs) that can help to control the spread of Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening disease. These peptides work in two ways: They inhibit the growth of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) – the bacterium causing the disease – in trees that are HLB-positive and it helps to induce immunity in healthy trees.