News & AnalysisAgriculture

Dread Citrus Disease Turns Up in California, Texas

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Science  20 Apr 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6079, pp. 283-284
DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6079.283

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Summary

Citrus greening, for which there is no cure, turns fruit sour and kills trees within a few years. Transmitted by a tiny insect, the bacterial disease rapidly conquered Florida beginning in 2005, doubling the cost of production and raising questions about the future of the industry. Now citrus greening has turned up in California and Texas, the second- and third-largest citrus producers in the United States. Researchers are hoping that rapid action—hunting for and destroying infected trees and battling the sap-sucking insect vector—can contain the disease, buying enough time to develop treatments or even resistant trees.