The first U.S. detection of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, or citrus greening, was confirmed on pummelo citrus leaf and fruit samples from two locations in Florida. Citrus greening, or huanglongbing, is a bacterial disease that affects the vascular system of plants. Once infected, there is no cure for the tree, which will then decline and die within a few years. There are three strains of citrus greening: Asian, African and Brazilian; the strain found in South Florida appears to be the Asian one. The bacteria are transmitted primarily by insect vectors (citrus psyllids). In June 1998, the insect that carries the Asian strain of citrus greening (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama) was found for the first time in the United States in Florida (Mead, 2002), and more recently in Arroyo Seco, Queretaro, Mexico (PAS, July 16, 2004).
For the full story:
USDA APHIS Press Release (September 2, 2005). http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/news/2005/09/greening_ppq.html
For more information:
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Division of Plant Industry, Citrus Greening Website. http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/enpp/ento/citrusgreening.html
Mead, F. W. 2002. Originally published as FDACS/DPI Entomology Circular No. 180. Available online: http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/citrus/acpsyllid.htm
PAS, July 16, 2004. First report of Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama), in the municipality of Arroyo Seco, Queretaro, Mexico. NAPPO Phytosanitary Alert System. http://www.pestalert.org/pestnewsdetails.cfm?newsID=316&keyword=DIAPHORINA%20CITRI