USDA Announces New Technology to Identify Citrus Greening

Citrus greening symptomsAgricultural Research Service scientists in Athens, Georgia, and Fort Pierce, Florida, are testing a technology known as “Fourier transform infrared-attenuated total reflection” (FTIR-ATR) spectroscopy. This technique can identify citrus greening-infected plant leaves with 95-percent accuracy – before the plant shows symptoms and takes only seconds.

Currently, the best method for detecting citrus greening-infected trees is a type of DNA testing called PCR (polymerase chain reaction), which is both costly and time consuming.

Plants can be infected for up to several years before showing symptoms, and during this period the psyllid can transmit the disease agent to nearby plants.

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