Asian Citrus Psyllid | Sciences Dissertations

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1.0 Introduction

The Asian Citrus Psyllid is referred botanically called Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) is a pest of citrus and close relatives of citrus. Together with the African Citrus Psyllid Trioza erytreae (del Guercio) are the two most dangerous citrus pests in the World (Bronson & Gaskalla par.1).

Diaphorina citri Kuwayama causes extreme damage to the crop by spreading pathogens that cause greening or the yellow dragon disease to the citrus plants. The disease can also be referred as the yellow shoot disease because the shoots of the citrus plants become yellow in color. Furthermore the disease also causes chlorosis as if the plant is lacking the zinc nutrient, the twigs are affected and there is reduced fruit size and the productivity declines. The fruit color is not well developed and this to the greening effect hence the name greening disease (Bronson & Gaskalla par.2).

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Buitendag & Broembsen argue that the interaction between the vector and the pathogen is not well known and range from 30 minutes for the Asian Citrus Psyllid and 24 hours for the African Psyllid hence the Asian pest is more lethal. The Asian Citrus Psyllid have been a menace to farmers in South Texas (p.269). The pathogens are believed to multiply in the vectors hence increasing in numbers and causing havoc to the citrus plants (Aubert 150). The adult Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) are small ranging between 3 to 4 millimeters and have brown wings. These insects are very active and move very fast. The eggs are bright yellow in color and are laid on the feathery flush. Nymphs are either green or dark orange and feed on the leaves and also the stem and can be hard to find in a field unless one is keen (Bronson & Gaskalla par.4).

Citrus is a universal terminology employed to refer to a number of cultivated plant genus belonging to the Rutaceae folks such as Grapefruit, emerald, oranges and lemon. The US produces about forty percent of the collective grapefruit produced globally; this includes both processed as well as fresh fruit bazaar. The states in which this crop is grown include Florida, Arizona and South Texas. This research will be based on South Texas whereby the pest is a menace and has caused poor production in citrus products (Evans et al 126).

Total acreage of commercial Citrus in Texas is at twenty seven thousand acres quantified at a fiscal value worth one hundred and sixty million dollars (Rosson 1). The initiation of citrus production in Texas stretch back in the 1849, when the earliest citrus trees were planted near Brazoria (Anciso 162).The concentration of commercial citrus in southern Texas is due to the regions fertile alkaline soils besides to subtropical environment that are moderately appropriate for citrus construction (Sauls 254).

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