Koppert tests a beneficial fungus for the biological control of citrus greening


Koppert Spain is undertaking research to confirm the efficacy of an entomopathogenic fungus that could control Trioza erytreae, one of the insects that transmits the huanglongbing (HLB) or ‘greening’ of citrus.

The research is part of a European project in which Koppert Spain is participating with a consortium of companies and research centers from different countries.

The R&D department of Koppert Spain is working with various entomopathogenic fungi that, in addition to controlling T. erytreae, could be effective against other common citrus pests such as aphids, spider mites, mealybug and thrips.

To date, HLB is not present in the Iberian Peninsula, but T. erytreae has been registered in Portugal, Galicia and the Canary Islands. In California, where the disease is already present, it has caused the loss of 70 percent of citrus plantations. Similar effects have been registered in other affected areas such as Brazil and Asia, where there are regions where the cultivation of citrus has had to be permanently abandoned.

In additional research by Koppert, the discovery of a new parasitoid, Tamarixia dryi, in South Africa has achieved good results in the first experimental releases made last year in the Canary Islands by the Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research (IVIA). Dr. Alejandro Tena, researcher at IVIA, who participated in the development of this new parasitoid through the TropicSafe project, recommends the use of vegetable cover in citrus as a complementary method of biological control.

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