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Insect Pathology/ Biotechnology Lab

Insect Pathology/ Biotechnology Lab

Bt toxins for Management of Asian Citrus Psyllid

The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri, is one of the most serious pests in U.S. and global citriculture. ACP transmits a pathogenic bacterium that causes citrus greening or huanglongbing (HLB) disease, which ultimately results in tree death. Severe economic losses are attributed to HLB in world citriculture. Controlling ACP is the first line of defense against the spread of HLB into new areas in Texas and California, and into new plantings in Florida. As an advancement over traditional insecticide strategies, Bonning leads a collaborative and trans-disciplinary project focused on a novel, sustainable approach for management of ACP that is compatible with biocontrol programs. This group is working to develop toxins derived from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) for use against ACP, and to develop appropriate deployment methods. For further information, please see our Science for Citrus Health, Research SnapShot. 

A March 2020 news item about this work is available here.

Collaborators for this work include:

Michael Blackburn

James Keesling

William Dawson

Karen Jetter

James Borneman

Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell

Caroline Roper

Lukasz Stelinski

Vladimir Orbovic

Mamaoudou Setamou

Related publications

Toxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis-Derived Pesticidal Proteins Cry1Ab and Cry1Ba against Asian Citrus Psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera). Fernandez-Luna MT, Kumar P, Hall DG, Mitchell AD, Blackburn MB, Bonning BC. Toxins (Basel). 2019 Mar 22;11(3). pii: E173. doi: 10.3390/toxins11030173.