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Bioecology and development of control strategies of Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), vector of the greening-causing bacterium

Abstract

The Brazilian citrus industry accounts for one third of the world orange production, with São Paulo State detaining 80% of the overall national yield. Plant diseases, native and exotic pests have been threatening Brazilian orchards, placing in risk the yield of our orchards and competitiveness of our citrus produce at the international market. The greening-causing bacterium Candidatus Liberobacter sp. was reported in more than 15 cities in São Paulo State in July/2004, spreading very fast through the state reaching 45 localities in November/2004 already. Transmission of this disease has been associated with two psyllids, but only one of them, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, 1908, is found associated with citrus orchards throughout Brazil. This psyllid can cause leaf curling and distortion of growing shoots, affecting the plant normal growth due to sap depletion and toxicity of its saliva. It also causes damage by excreting honeydew, which allows the growth of sooty mold and decrease of the leaf photosynthesis. D. citri was first reported in Brazil in 1942, but very few has been done since then because it has been considered a secondary pest. However, the coupling of the greening causal agent and its vector under the prevailing conditions are threatening to devastate the citrus industry in Brazil as reported in a number of Asian countries, unless disease control and pest management strategies are quickly developed. Therefore, we propose to develop such strategies to eliminate the risks citrus orchards are facing with the occurrence of the system D. citri -L. Candidatus sp. using a holistic approach including 1) traditional and molecular taxonomy to identify and characterize different populations, 2) basic biology to evaluate the effect of abiotic factors (temperature and RH) on the population growth of the insect as a way to predict areas where they could occur at higher densities; 3) vector-bacterium interactions and its effect on the establishment of the disease 4) presence of symbionts and their effect on the vector-bacterium and vector-natural enemies interactions; 5) pest and native natural enemies population dynamics; 6) development of control strategies using plant resistance, microbial or entomophagous control agents and chemical control through the use of selective products. Is our intent to develop a number of control strategies that could be successfully used in an integrated pest management program for citrus orchards in São Paulo State. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
Let loose the wasps on the orange groves 
Avispas sueltas en los naranjales 
Fighting the yellow dragon 
Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
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VEICULO: TITULO (DATA)
VEICULO: TITULO (DATA)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
FÁBIO C A DOSSI; FERNANDO L CÔNSOLI. Desenvolvimento ovariano e influência da cópula na maturação dos ovários de Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae). Neotropical Entomology, v. 39, n. 3, p. 414-419, . (04/14215-0)
GUIDOLIN, A. S.; CONSOLI, F. L.. Molecular Characterization of Wolbachia Strains Associated with the Invasive Asian Citrus Psyllid Diaphorina citri in Brazil. MICROBIAL ECOLOGY, v. 65, n. 2, p. 475-486, . (04/14215-0)
FABIO CLEISTO ALDA DOSSI; FERNANDO LUIS CÔNSOLI. Gross morphology and ultrastructure of the female reproductive system of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae). Zoologia, v. 31, n. 2, p. 162-169, . (04/14215-0)

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