|Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture|
Oranges are turning green? A disease called citrus greening is damaging the groves where Florida grows their state fruit. The disease involves bacteria that prevent the tree from getting the proper nutrients, and in turn affect the ripening of the fruit. Citrus greening is said to have originated in China, and has since made its way to trees in Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Asia and Brazil. When asked what the result would be if the disease was ignored, Florida Senator Bill Nelson replied, “We’ll end up paying $5 for an orange – and it’ll have to be one imported from someplace else.”
The disease is transmitted by an insect called the Asian citrus psyllid. Washington State University molecular biologist and biochemist David Gang, along with a team, is working on a way to alter the insect and create a ‘nupsyllid’. Nupsyllid is another way of saying ‘new psyllid’, which refers to an insect called a psyllid that leaps and feeds on plant juices. The nupsyllid is believed to defeat and get rid of the disease all together. For the full article go to WSU News Center.