Spanish and Portuguese experts analyze the possibilities of preventing the entry of HLB

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development hosted the HLB international seminar within the framework of the LIFE Vida for Citrus Project. The event, which ended today, was attended by Spanish and Portuguese experts.

The project was born with the purpose of protecting the citrus sector by developing plants that are resistant to the HLB disease, implementing environmentally friendly cultural practices that limit the development of the vector that transmits the disease, and reducing the sector's carbon footprint, thus helping fight climate change

Huanglongbing, also known as citrus greening or HLB, is the deadliest disease of citrus. It is caused by bacteria of the Candidatus liberibacter species and kills the trees shortly after infection. This bacterium is dispersed by the Diaphorina citri and Trioza erytreae vector insects. The latter has already been detected in the Iberian Peninsula, specifically, in Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, and the Basque Country. In Portugal, its presence has already been detected in a municipality in the Algarve. This new detection highlights that the insect has advanced greatly towards the south is very close to the province of Huelva, one of the main citrus growing regions of Andalusia.

LIFE Vida for Citrus seeks to establish preventive measures and lines of work against a possible arrival of the HLB and its vectors in Spain. The project's objectives include testing rootstocks that are tolerant to this pathogen to evaluate their adaptation to the country's growing conditions. These tests are being developed at the Ifapa de las Torres Center, located in Alcala del Rio (Seville).

Another goal is to contribute to the early diagnosis of the disease by developing rapid diagnostic kits for commercialization, sources from the Junta de Andalucia stated.

Other goals include the development of techniques to carry out effective control of the disease vectors, promoting international cooperation and involving the peripheral regions of the EU in this fight, and creating a replicable model of agricultural practices for the prevention of the arrival of the vector and disease.

 

Source: agrodiario.com 


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