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Major HLB discovery announced

A researcher from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences recently determined how bacterium causes the devastating citrus disease HLB.

UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center director Michael Rogers provided the basics of the breakthrough discovery while meeting with the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association governing board on September 9. Rogers said the discovery was exciting news, but added that he could not provide more information because the findings have not yet been published.

Rogers did not even provide the HCCGA board with the CREC researcher’s name who made the discovery. He said more information about the discovery would be given at a November 16 open house and field day at the Citrus Research and Education Center. “We’ve got some ideas and suggestions that growers can use now to improve their operations,” Rogers said. He did say the research began in 2017 and was funded by the Florida Legislature.

The discovery won’t help this year’s Florida citrus crop, but might be useful for growers in 2022, Rogers said.


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