Citrus yellow vein clearing virus looms over US citrus industry

Earlier this year, citrus yellow vein clearing virus was detected in a residential tree in Tulare, a town of nearly 70,000 tucked between Fresno and Bakersfield, California. It’s the first time the virus, which can severely affect tree growth and fruit yield, has shown up in the US.

Victoria Hornbaker, the Director of the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Division of the California Department of Agriculture, explained that although an ongoing delimination survey has found over 500 positive trees in the city of Tulare, it is currently an issue at the residential level: “We have done some grove sampling in Fresno, Tulare, and King, and we have not found any symptoms or positive plants in a commercial grove at this point.”

Still, the virus might spread, as it was previously been restricted to Pakistan, India, Iran, Turkey and China. There, it has rapidly expanded to all citrus-producing provinces.


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