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Management of citrus black spot and citrus canker: joint chemical control, decision support system and resistance of fruit with modification in terpene content

Grant number: 20/05701-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: November 01, 2020 - October 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Plant Health
Principal researcher:Geraldo José da Silva Junior
Grantee:Geraldo José da Silva Junior
Home Institution: Fundo de Defesa da Citricultura (FUNDECITRUS). Araraquara , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Fabrício Eustáquio Lanza ; Franklin Behlau ; Franklin Jackson Machado ; Nelson Arno Wulff ; Rafaele Regina Moreira ; Rodrigo Facchini Magnani


Brazil is the world leader in both orange production and export of concentrated juice. However, a significant volume of orange production has been lost every season due to the attack of diseases, mainly those related to the premature fruit drop. In the citrus belt of São Paulo state (SP), which accounts for 73% of the orange produced in Brazil, the average rate of premature fruit drop reached 17.6% in the 2019/2020 season. The loss worth approximately US$ 300 million, of which about US$ 40 million was related to citrus black spot (CBS) and citrus canker (CC). The modifications in the CC legislation in 2017 allowed the disease to be managed in SP as a replacement of eradication. As CBS and CC are controlled during the fruit development stages, a joint management program for both diseases becomes essential. In addition, genetically modified (GM) sweet orange cultivars have been developed and planted in experimental trials in SP since 2013. In laboratory conditions, some GM genotypes showed resistance to CBS and CC, but these materials have not yet been assessed under field conditions. Thus, this project aims to: (i) elaborate a joint chemical control program for CBS and CC, (ii) develop an decision support system for CBS and CC, based on the results of this project, previous research from our group and data available in the literature, and (iii) assess the resistance of GM sweet oranges to these two diseases in a field trial planted in 2013 in SP. With this project, it is expected to help citrus growers to optimize the management of these important diseases, associating effective control with minimal use of pesticides in order to make citrus a more economical and environmentally sustainable crop. (AU)

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