Evaluation of the spatiotemporal dynamics of oxytetracycline and its control effect against citrus huanglongbing via trunk injection

Jiahuai Hu, Nian Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Citrus huanglongbing (HLB) or greening is a devastating bacterial disease that has destroyed millions of trees and is associated with phloemresiding 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' (Las) in Florida. In this study, we evaluated the spatiotemporal dynamics of oxytetracycline in planta and its control effect against HLB via trunk injection. Las-infected 'Hamlin' sweet orange trees on 'Swingle' citrumelo rootstock at the early stage of decline were treated with oxytetracycline hydrochloride (OTC) using trunk injection with varying number of injection ports. Spatiotemporal distribution of OTC and dynamics of Las populations were monitored by high-performance liquid chromatography method and qPCR assay, respectively. Uniform distribution of OTC throughout tree canopies and root system was achieved 2 days postinjection. High levels of OTC (>850 μg/kg) were maintained in leaf and root for at least 1 month and moderate OTC (>500 μg/kg) persisted for more than 9 months. Reduction of Las populations in root system and leaves of OTC-treated trees were over 95% and 99% (i.e., 1.76 and 2.19 log reduction) between 2 and 28 days postinjection. Conditions of trees receiving OTC treatment were improved, fruit yield was increased, and juice acidity was lowered than water-injected control even though their differences were not statistically significant during the test period. Our study demonstrated that trunk injection of OTC could be used as an effective measure for integrated management of citrus HLB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1495-1503
Number of pages9
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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