The citrus industry, worldwide, has been battling one of the most destructive and devastating diseases, Huanglongbing, yellow dragon disease, or more commonly referred to as HLB. The disease is caused by a vector-transmitted pathogen, from the bacterium species Candidatus Liberibacter. The vectors are small plant-feeding insects of the family Psyllidae. These insects spread the three different forms of the bacterium into citrus trees.  The infection into the trees causes incredible destruction from yellowing of the veins and tissues, premature defoliation of leaves, stunted growth, irregular shaped fruit with green color at the navel side, and eventual tree death.

HLB Infected Orange Tree
HLB Infected Orange Tree

The Psyllidae vector, Diaphorina citri, is responsible for HLB in regions of Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, Hawaii and Southern California. Other vector transmissions have been observed across the globe some of which being Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Belize, South Africa and South East Asia.  The economic fallout of infected HLB citrus groves has been a challenge for growers worldwide.

Gaia, a global leader in the ultrafine nanobubble technology arena has jointly been collaborating with the United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) at the U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory in Ft. Pierce, Florida since 2017, for the purpose of investigating the use of ultrafine nanobubble technology to combat HLB.

Geneticist, Dr. Randy P. Niedz, Ph.D., has spearheaded the research in a scientific and objective manner. Researching the effects of how oxygenated ultrafine/nanobubbles suspended in water interact with healthy and HLB-infected citrus plants. Results indicate an increase in the size and fresh root mass, up to 28%. These results were presented at the Florida Citrus Show in January 2020, and widely received as the future of care in treating HLB. Due to the positive results and wide reception secondary studies are currently underway and will be updated as soon as they are available.

To watch the presentation from the show, click here.