Huanglongbing (HLB)/Citrus Greening Disease Information

Citrus Greening Disease

Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening or yellow dragon disease, is one of the most serious citrus diseases in the world. It is widespread in Asia, Africa, and the Saudi Arabian Peninsula. In July 2004 it was reported in Brazil, and in August 2005 it was found for the first time in the U.S. in south Miami-Dade County. Huanglongbing is a bacterial disease that attacks the vascular system of plants. Once infected, there is no cure for the disease, and in areas where the disease is endemic, citrus trees decline and die within a few years. There are three known forms: Asian, African and Brazilian. The HLB bacteria is transmitted primarily by insect vectors (citrus psyllids), but can also be spread through plant grafting and movement of infected plant material. Even though the pathogens are bacteria, the disease does not spread by casual contamination of personnel and tools or by wind and rain. Though citrus is the primary plant host for HLB, other citrus relatives can also get the disease. Common HLB host plants include the Chinese box orange (Severinia buxifolia) and the curry leaf (Murraya koenigii). While HLB disease and the Asian psyllid share many of the same host plants, some host plants are specific to the disease and others to the psyllid.

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