© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Antibiotic Injections Could Be Better At Killing Citrus Greening Bacteria

A healthy orange from a grove in Bowling Green, Florida.
Jessica Meszaros
WUSF Public Media
A healthy orange from a grove in Bowling Green, Florida.

Researchers at the University of Florida released a study this month in the journal Phytopathology, saying there's a way to more quickly and efficiently kill bacteria that causes citrus greening disease.

Experiments have shown that injecting antibiotics directly into an infected citrus tree trunk is much more effective than spraying.

"When you're spraying the bactericides onto the tree, the products have to go through the waxy layer on the leaf's surface to get into the leaf tissue where the bacteria live,” said Michael Rogers, with the Citrus Research and Education Center at UF/IFAS.

“It's that waxy leaf surface that's a barrier to getting the products into the plant."

Rogers said the antibiotics have not been federally approved for injection, but if that happens, UF researchers are already thinking about how to help growers deliver them on a large scale.

Since 2012, I’ve been a voice on public radio stations across Florida - in Miami, Fort Myers, and now Tampa.
WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.