US avocado crops face threat of non-native beetles carrying fungus

Patricia Manosalva, an assistant professor of microbiology and the director of the Avocado Rootstock Brreding Program at the University of California, Riverside, claims the US is experiencing an avocado crisis. “There is a little pest which is threatening the avocado production.”

Those pests are non-native beetles carrying a fungus, and they’re creating big problems for avocado orchards across the US and internationally. “The problem is that it is going to be here, it’s just a matter of time,” Manosalva said.

This fungus has already destroyed avocado crops in Florida and Texas, and Manosalva says it’s now spreading to America’s biggest producer of avocados: California. After being awarded a grant by the USDA, Manosalva is now leading a team of scientists from around the world to take on this avocado issue.



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