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Huanglongbing, Caused by ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus,’ Detected in New Locations Across Southern and Coastal Georgia

J. E. Oliver, M. E. Ali, S. Waliullah, J. Price, J. Warren, J. Jacobs, A. Hoppers, R. Evans, M. Dowdy, and S. Curry

January 2020

Survey

Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening disease is the most devastating disease of citrus worldwide. This disease, caused by the bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas), leads to low fruit quality and unproductive trees. In 2008, HLB was found in a residential citrus tree in Savannah, Georgia, and, as a result, the state has been quarantined for this disease since 2009. Nonetheless, little is known about the distribution of CLas within Georgia, even though the commercial planting of citrus in Georgia has increased exponentially in recent years. In 2019, 94 samples from commercial and residential citrus trees within 11 counties in coastal and southern Georgia were collected and tested for the presence of CLas. Molecular testing results revealed the presence of CLas in three counties where HLB had not been previously reported and in 9% of samples overall. This is the first definitive report confirming HLB in southern Georgia counties besides those along the coast.

doi:10.1094/PHP-09-19-0064-S

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