UF Professor Develops Citrus Greening Detector

Feb 5, 2015

Citrus greening sensor.
Credit University of Florida

Citrus producers might have another tool for their fight against citrus greening.

Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a sensor that can detect infected trees.

Right now, scientists and biologists all over the country are still trying to find a way to eradicate citrus greening. The bacteria has been plaguing the Sunshine State’s $9 billion citrus industry for years.

Even though there still isn’t a cure, growers now have a way to detect citrus greening early.

UF Professor Daniel Lee developed an easy to use and affordable detector. He said it gives growers more time to get rid of sick trees before others get infected.

“The growers they don’t need to go through a complicated lab analysis to determine the infection,” he said. “This affordable device, you can use it in the field. You don’t need take samples and send them to the lab for complex analysis.”

The sensor works by detecting starch left on leaves by the disease.

It’s still in the development stage, but Lee said early field tests have been successful.