Interaction of Huanglongbing and Foliar Applications of Copper on Growth and Nutrient Acquisition of Citrus sinensis cv. Valencia

in HortScience

The following study was conducted in 2016 and 2017 to determine the impact of frequent foliar copper (Cu) applications on Huanglongbing (HLB)-affected Citrus sinensis cv. Valencia orange. The experiment was conducted in a psyllid-free greenhouse with HLB-positive and non-HLB control trees grown in an Immokalee fine sand soil. The trees were well-maintained to promote health. Cu was applied to the foliage at 0x, 0.5x, 1x, and 2x the commercially recommended rates, which were 0, 46, 92, and 184 mm, respectively, with applications made 3x in both 2016 and 2017. The impact of HLB and Cu treatments on leaf and root Cu concentrations, vegetative growth, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLasiaticus) genome copy number, and acquisition of other essential nutrients were determined. HLB caused the roots to acidify the soil more than non-HLB controls, which promoted Cu availability and promoted greater Cu concentrations in leaves and roots. HLB and Cu application treatments suppressed leaf area and total root length observable in rhizotron tubes such that, by the end of the experiment, leaf, stem, root, and whole-plant dry weights were reduced. HLB reduced foliar concentrations of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn) and possibly iron (Fe), but HLB did not affect root concentrations of these same essential nutrients. Cu application treatments did not affect leaf or root concentrations of other essential nutrients except foliar concentration of Fe, which may have been suppressed. Foliar applications of Cu are used to suppress Xanthomonas citri ssp. citri (Xcc) the causal agent of citrus canker, and the frequency of its use may need to be reconsidered in commercial groves.

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author. E-mail: rcebel@ufl.edu or IPHS_Ebel@yahoo.com.

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    Interaction of Huanglongbing and foliar applications of copper (Cu) at 0x, 0.5x, 1x, and 2x the recommended rates on Cu concentrations of mature leaves (A), soil (B), and roots (C) of Citrus sinensis cv. Valencia (n = 6). Vertical arrows indicate dates of Cu foliar treatments. Symbols and line designations for Cu treatments are located in the legend in the lower right graph.

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    Interaction of Huanglongbing (HLB) and foliar applications of copper (Cu) on leaf (A), soil (B), and root (C) Cu concentrations of Citrus sinensis cv. Valencia (n = 6). The area within the horizontal dashed lines represents the range of foliar Cu concentration considered sufficient (5–16 mg/kg dry weight) (Obreza and Morgan, 2008). Symbols for HLB treatments are in the legend in the middle graph. Data used in the regression analyses were averaged across all sampling dates after the first Cu treatment was applied for each replication (tree); however, only overall means are shown in the graph.

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    Change in leaf area and total root length visible in the rhizotron tubes over time of Citrus sinensis cv. Valencia affected by Huanglongbing and foliar applications of copper (Cu) at 0x, 0.5x, 1x, and 2x the recommended rates (n = 3). Vertical arrows indicate dates of Cu foliar treatments. Symbols and lines for Cu treatments are in the legend in the upper left graph.

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    Leaf area in Aug. 2017 (A) and total root length visible (B) in the rhizotron tubes and averaged across all sampling dates of Citrus sinensis cv. Valencia as affected by Huanglongbing (HLB) and foliar applications of copper (Cu) (n = 3). Symbols for HLB treatments are in the legend in the lower graph. Data used in the regression analyses were averaged across all sampling dates after the first Cu treatment was applied for each replication (tree); however, only overall means are shown in the graph.

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    Interaction of Huanglongbing (HLB) and foliar applications of copper (Cu) on leaf, stem, root and whole-plant dry weights of Citrus sinensis cv. Valencia at the end of the experiment (n = 3). Symbols for HLB treatments are in the legend in the second graph. Data used in the regression analyses were averaged across all sampling dates after the first Cu treatment was applied for each replication (tree); however, only overall means are shown in the graph.

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