Test kit can confirm citrus greening in the field

08/11/2014 12:53:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

click image to zoomEnviroLogix test preparationCourtesy EnviroLogixInstructions walk users through the easy steps to prepare samples for testing.Portland, Maine-based EnviroLogix Inc. has introduced a test that can be performed in the field in less than 30 minutes to determine whether a citrus tree is infected with greening.

That compares to the 1.5 to 2 hours needed to conduct a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test for Liberibacter asiaticus, the bacterium that causes greening, according to a news release.

The EnviroLogix test kit, marketed as DNAble, also requires a $3,000 instrument to read the results compared to a PCR rest, which requires a $25,000-plus instrument.

The test kit can be used on suspect Asian citrus psyllids or on suspect leaf petioles.

Kunta Madhurababu, who runs the diagnostics laboratory at the Texas A&M-Kingsville Citrus Center in Weslaco, compared results from the test kits with those using PCR. The tests included six healthy and six infected petiole samples.

The results demonstrated 100 percent correlation, according to the release.

Ron Brlansky, a University of Florida plant pathologist, provided uninfected and infected psyllids for a similar comparison test.

In that one, the test kit results correlated 100 percent with the PCR results for uninfected psyllids and 96 percent for infected psyllids.

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