Yesterday morning Alberto Fereres, entomologist, and partner of PRE-HLB project was in Novales (Cantabria, Spain) conducting a survey of Trioza erytreae for a study of genetic variability.
At the end of June, the Spanish government warned of the presence in Mogro (Cantabria) of the first outbreak of Trioza erytreae, a sucking insect of sub-Saharan origin, commonly known as the “African citrus psyllid”, which affects lemon, orange, mandarin and other citrus trees, which is a vector of Huanglongbing (HLB), the most important disease of citrus. The HLB disease can reduce the quality and flavour of the fruit and even cause the death of the affected tree or plant within a few years, but hasn’t been found in Spain.
About the study of Trioza erytreae
To study this new Cantabrian focus, a survey was carried out in Novales to detect the presence of Trioza adults and to carry out a new study on the genetic variability of Trioza erytreae throughout the Iberian Peninsula. This study was carried out by Alberto Fereres entomologist, research professor at the Department of Plant Protection, Insect Vector Group of Plant Pathogens (ICA-CSIC) and partner of the PRE-HLB project, in coordination with Leandro Peña, coordinator of the PRE-HLB project and researcher at the Institute of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMPC), the Higher Council of Scientific Research (CSIC)-University of Valencia (UPV) and the Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology (Fundecitrus).
During this field survey, samples have been collected and will be analysed in molecular samples that will determine the study of the genetic variability of the insect. In this way, it will be established if the new focus in Cantabria, could come from and be the same type of ‘African citrus psyllid’ than the one detected years ago in Galicia or Portugal.
Alberto Fereres commented: “I have been prospecting these days in Cantabria in the area near Suanzes, Comillas and in the town of Novales”. To find out the location of the Trioza outbreak, Fereres was accompanied by farmers of the referred region where the insect is most prevalent and to private homes, where they grow lemon trees with high infestations of Trioza erytreae.
Photos of the study of Trioza erytreae