Unravelling Citrus Huanglongbing Disease
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AuthorFerrarezi, Rhuanito Soranz; Vincent, Cristopher Issac; Urbaneja, Alberto; Machado, Marcos Antonio
Cita bibliográficaFerrarezi, R. S., Urbaneja, A., Machado, M. A., Vincent, C. I., eds. (2021). Unravelling Citrus Huanglongbing Disease. Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA.
Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening is a disease caused by the unculturable, fastidious, phloem-restrictive, Gram-negative bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter spp. Currently, there are three species linked to the disease. The Asian form associated with Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) is heat-tolerant and can survive well above 30°C. The African (Candidatus Liberibacter africanus) and American forms are heat-sensitive and develop between 22 and 25°C (Candidatus Liberibacter americanus) (Bové, 2006). Huanglongbing is vector-transmitted mainly by the African citrus psyllid Trioza erytreae Del Guercio (Hemiptera: Triozidae) and the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), with two other psyllids also reported as vectors, D. communis Mathur and Cacopsilla citrisuga (Yang & Li) (Hemiptera: Pysllidae). The disease was first described in 1929 and reported in China in 1943. The African variation was reported in South Africa in 1947. The disease was reported in Brazil (São Paulo) in 2004 and the United States (Florida) in 2005. More than 20% of citrus trees in Brazil and 90% in Florida are currently affected, with symptomatic trees present in Texas and California. Huanglongbing is present and affects several citrus-producing countries of Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and America (except for Bolivia, Chile, Perú, and Uruguay). The Mediterranean Basin and Australia are still free of HLB. The threat to HLB-free countries is constant due to the proximity of the disease and its vectors and the unstoppable increase in international trade. Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus can infect most citrus species, cultivars, and hybrids. Leaves of infected trees develop a blotchy mottle symptom (yellowing vein and an asymmetrical chlorosis). Infected branches suffer substantial leaf drop, resulting in severe canopy thinning. Fibrous root density decreases nearly 30%, directly affecting water and nutrient uptake, severely reducing fruit yield, and demanding more frequent irrigation and improved mineral nutrition practices. Fruit from HLB-affected trees are often lopsided, poorly colored, and contain aborted seeds, with low commercial value due to small size and quality. The juice from affected fruit present low soluble solids content, high acidity, and bitterness. There is no cure for the disease yet. Current management strategies focus on either delaying infection or managing infected trees. Methods of delaying infection include removal of symptomatic trees, planting and resetting using HLB-free nursery trees, protection of grove edges and intensive monitoring and control of the vectors mainly using physical, chemical, and biological control methods. Management of infected trees includes adjusting soil pH, enhancing nutritional programs, and improving irrigation management based on altered tree capacities and needs when affected by HLB. Research has evolved rapidly to address this devastating challenging, and several recent alternatives based on psyllid management, bactericides, cultural practices (thermotherapy and vector exclusion using netting), and genetic transformation have been tested. While most attempts at management have focused on a single component of the disease pyramid, most do not explicitly consider multiple elements at the same time. This Research Topic is a collection of 9 articles from 49 co-authors and present the latest advances in managing the HLB pathosystem, focusing on assessments of near-term feasible practices in the context of the vector, pathogen, host plant, and environment.