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Publication #CH199

Citrus Canker: An Established Infection in the Florida Citrus Industry1

J. D. Burrow, T. M. Spann, and M. M. Dewdney2

Click here to view this publication as a brochure in PDF: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/CH/CH19900.pdf

Canker History

1910

First introduction into Florida

1933

Eradication of first introduction of canker was successful

1986

Second introduction into Florida

1994

Second introduction of canker was declared eradicated

1995

Third introduction into Florida in urban Miami area

2000

A statewide mandatory eradication using 1,900 foot rule was implemented

Quarantine areas were established when canker was detected

Mandatory statewide decontamination procedures began

2002

Removal of infected and exposed trees was delayed due to lawsuits from homeowners

2004–2005

The hurricanes magnified the spread of canker across the state

2005

First nursery infected with canker was found

2006

Mandatory eradication ended

2007 to present

More than 20 counties with trees infected with canker

The removal of infected trees is now voluntary

Decontamination procedures are required statewide to prevent the spread of citrus canker

Biology

  • Bacteria is caused by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri

  • Gram negative bacterium

  • Small (cannot be seen by the naked eye)

  • 1-3 microns in size

  • Rod-shaped cell covered with slime

  • Single polar flagellum

  • Survives in moist conditions

Varieties Affected

  • Highly susceptible varieties: grapefruit, lemons, navel, some early oranges (ex. Early Gold)

  • Less susceptible: hamlins, tangelos

  • More tolerant: tangerines, hybrids (ex. Murcott), Valencia

Canker Spread

  • Wind-driven rain and storm events such as tornadoes and tropical storms

  • Overhead irrigation

  • Human movement of infected plant material

  • Human and equipment movement within groves

  • Citrus leafminer

  • Birds and other animals

  • Canker does not harm humans

Citrus canker is highly infectious!

Canker Symptoms

Leaf Symptoms

  • Early symptoms appear as slightly raised, tiny blister-like lesions

  • As lesions age, they turn tan to brown and a water soaked margin appears surrounded by a yellow ring or halo

  • Center of the lesion becomes raised and corky

  • Lesions are usually visible on both sides of a leaf

Stem and Fruit Symptoms

  • Older stem lesions are dark brown or black, raised, corky lesions surrounded by an oily or water-soaked margin

  • Mature lesions appear scabby or corky

  • Fruit lesions are dark brown to black, raised, often surrounded by yellow halos

  • Fruit lesions can cause blemishes and early fruit drop

Commercial Management

  • Decontamination of equipment and personnel

  • Windbreaks

  • Copper sprays

  • Leafminer control

  • Defoliation

  • Tree removal

Residential Management

  • Apply copper every three weeks mid-May to mid-July

  • Decontaminate lawn tools using one (1) ounce of bleach to one (1) gallon of water. (Do not store bleach-water solution, as it will lose effectiveness within 24 hours.)

  • Prune infected area, double bag infected limbs, and discard in yard waste or

  • Burn infected plant material

  • Apply horticultural oil to lower leafminer populations

  • Do not transport infected plant material!

Contacts

UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center

Jamie Burrow
Canker & Greening Extension Education

863-956-8648

Megan Dewdney, Ph.D.
Plant Pathologist

863-956-8651

Jim Graham, Ph.D.
Soil Mircobiologist

863-956-8660

Lukasz Stelinski, Ph.D.
Entomologist

863-956-8851

UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center

Pamela Roberts, Ph.D.
Plant Pathologist

239-658-3430

UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center

Mark Ritenour, Ph.D.
Postharvest Physiologist

772-468-3922

UF/IFAS Extension Offices with Citrus Agents

Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lake, Polk, St. Lucie, Sumter

Websites

UF/IFAS Extension Citrus Agents

http://citrusagents.ifas.ufl.edu

UF/IFAS Citrus REC

www.crec.ifas.ufl.edu

UF/IFAS Indian River REC

http://www.irrec.ifas.ufl.edu

UF/IFAS Southwest Florida REC

http://www.imok.ufl.edu

Local UF/IFAS Extension Office

http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/map/

Footnotes

1.

This document is CH199, one of a series of the Plant Pathology Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date July 2008. Revised March 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

J. D. Burrow, coordinator for canker and greening extension education; T. M. Spann, former associate professor, Horticultural Sciences Department; and M. M. Dewdney, assistant professor, Plant Pathology Department, Citrus Research and Education Center, UF/IFAS Extension, Lake Alfred, FL, 33850.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.