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Crop Biotech Update

Pheromone from Asian Citrus Psyllid that Transmits Citrus Greening Now Identified

February 14, 2018

Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening, is a devastating disease of citrus worldwide. Once infected, citrus trees must be eradicated. In Brazil, as much as 46.2 million citrus trees (or 26% of the currently planted trees) have been eradicated since HLB was detected in 2004.

HLB is caused by bacteria of the genus Candidatus liberibacter spp., which are transmitted from tree to tree by the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) in Asia and America and the African citrus psyllid (Trioza erytreae) in Africa.

Researchers have now identified and synthesized D. citri's sex pheromone for use as bait in traps to lure the insects and kill them before mating. Analysis of isolated compounds revealed that the main component of the sex pheromone released by virgin females was lignoceryl acetate.

For more details, read the research findings published in Scientific Reports.