A team led by the University of California, Riverside (UCR) is looking at tiny underground microorganisms for a way to prevent a huge problem — huanglongbing (HLB), a disease with no cure that has decimated citrus orchards worldwide.
“Often times, it is thought of as an above-ground disease of the fruits, leaves and stems,” said Caroline Roper, plant pathology professor and director of the new research effort. “However, we have seen the roots of trees decline with infection, and we want to understand why.”
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded the UCR-led team $10 million over the next five years to investigate the role of soil and root microbes in HLB.
Roper said data from previous studies shows the microbiome of the infected tree — which includes bacteria and fungi as well as protozoa and viruses — plays a role in the disease.
“We have seen a shift in the root microbiome as …..
Learn more about how Root Bacteria Could Help Defeat HLB on the Citrus Industry website.