The University of California, Riverside is one of four national research locations to receive grants totaling over $13 million to address Huanglongbing (HLB) in the United States.
UC Riverside will receive more than $5.1 million to identify bactericides that can cure, suppress or treat HLB.
Researchers at UC Riverside plan to develop two classes of bactericides to combat the bacterium responsible for causing HLB.
The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Three other research institutions will receive money from this grant, including:
- Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, $4.27 million;
- Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, $2.47 million; and,
- USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Athens, Georgia, $1.82 million
HLB is currently the most devastating citrus disease worldwide. It was first detected in Florida in 2005 and has since affected all of Florida’s citrus-producing areas leading to a 75 percent decline in Florida’s $9 billion citrus industry.
HLB has also been detected in Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas, as well as three residential communities in Southern California. Fifteen U.S. States or territories, including California, are under full or partial quarantine due to the presence of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), a vector for HLB.
Since 2009, USDA has invested more than $400 million to address citrus greening, including more than $57 million through the California Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program since 2014. Other projects in the current grant award include:
More information on these projects is available on the NIFA website.