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Antimicrobial treatment of citrus budwood to control Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus: An effort to develop low-cost technology for farmers

Research Paper | September 1, 2020

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Muhammad Sarwar Yaqub, Rozina Aslam, Fatima Ismail, Azeem Nawaz Mughal, Muhammad Hassan, Afia Mushtaq

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Int. J. Biosci.17( 3), 95-104, September 2020

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12692/ijb/17.3.95-104


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Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening, is one of the most devastating diseases of citrus worldwide menacing the survival of Pakistan and the world’s citrus industry. HLB is caused by different species of Candidatus Liberibacter bacterium: Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, Candidatus Liberibacter americanus and Candidatus Liberibacter africanus. The bacterium is transmitted from one plant to another by psyllid vector and through budding/grafting of infected plant material. As potential control strategies for citrus HLB, the effectiveness of different doses of penicillin including 25ppm, 50ppm, 75ppm and 100ppm in solution form were evaluated on HLB infected scions grafted on a rough lemon. Infected grafts were immersed in penicillin solutions for 2, 4, 6 and 8 hours. Biochemical analysis for the elimination of bacterial pathogens from treated sprouts was performed using iodo starch test. Survival of disease-free scion after the treatment with the antimicrobial agent is a landmark for HLB management. Highly significant differences were obtained for Candidatus liberibacter asiaticus detection in penicillin treated grafts sprouts at 8 hours immersion periods (F= 42.12, P= 0.0001). Our results revealed that scions immersed for 8 hours in 75 ppm solution of penicillin provided the highest efficiency in graft survival, sprouting and suppressing the HLB. This may provide a useful tool for the management of citrus HLB for citrus growers.


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Antimicrobial treatment of citrus budwood to control Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus: An effort to develop low-cost technology for farmers

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