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Catherine J. Westbrook, David G. Hall, Ed Stover, Yong Ping Duan and Richard F. Lee

Huanglongbing (HLB) is a serious and devastating disease of citrus caused by Candidatus Liberibacter spp. and vectored by the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae). The disease has the potential to greatly limit the production of citrus in Florida and other citrus-growing regions worldwide. Current control of D. citri and HLB is inadequate, but the identification and incorporation of D. citri resistance traits from uncultivated Citrus spp. and Citrus relatives is seen as a potential disease management strategy. In this study, seedlings of 87 Rutaceae seed-source genotypes, primarily in the orange subfamily Aurantioideae, were assessed in the field for their propensity in a free-choice situation for infestations of natural south Florida populations of D. citri. The majority of test populations surveyed hosted all three life stages of D. citri; however, there were significant differences among the test populations in the mean ranks for D. citri eggs (F = 3.13, df = 86, P < 0.0001), nymphs (F = 9.01, df = 86, P < 0.0001), and adults (F = 4.21, df = 86, P < 0.0001). The only sampled test population that was completely avoided by all life stages of D. citri was seedlings of Casimiroa edulis Llave et Lex, commonly known as white sapote, which was one of the few plants included in the study belonging to the Rutaceae subfamily Toddalioideae. Although not completely avoided, very low levels of D. citri were found on two surveyed test populations of Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf, seedlings of ‘Simmon's trifoliate’ and ‘Little-Leaf’. Poncirus trifoliata, the trifoliate orange, readily forms hybrids with Citrus spp., is commonly incorporated into rootstock varieties, and has been used in breeding-advanced scion material. The identification of partial resistance in P. trifoliata to D. citri could prove useful in future citrus breeding efforts aimed at reducing the incidence and spread of HLB. Determining if there is true resistance to D. citri in this and other germplasm sources with a low propensity for infestations in free-choice situations will require no-choice experiments.

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Matthew L. Richardson, Catherine J. Westbrook, David G. Hall, Ed Stover, Yong Ping Duan and Richard F. Lee

The citrus leafminer, Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae), is a key pest in most citrus-growing regions worldwide. Adult citrus leafminers oviposit primarily on young elongating flush of Citrus as well as other Rutaceae and some ornamental plants. Larvae feed on the epidermal cell layer of developing leaves and injury to leaves provides a pathway for infection by the bacterium Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Hasse), the causal agent of Asiatic citrus canker. In this study, we quantified abundance of citrus leafminer larvae on progeny of 87 seed parent genotypes of Citrus and Citrus relatives (family Rutaceae) in the field in East–central Florida to identify those that have low abundance of leafminers. Progeny from the 87 parent genotypes varied in abundance of the leafminer. Progeny of 15 parent genotypes had a high mean abundance of more than six leafminers per flush shoot. All but one of these genotypes were in the Citrus genus. Progeny of 16 parent genotypes had zero, or nearly zero, leafminers, but none were from the Citrus genus. However, many of these 16 genotypes were from genera closely related to true citrus (subtribe Citrinae) and are sexually compatible with Citrus. Progeny of two parent genotypes in the subfamily Toddalioideae and Glycosmis pentaphylla (Retz.) Corr. also had a low abundance of leafminer. Glycosmis pentaphylla also is a poor host for the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, and has biochemical resistance to the citrus weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus (L.), so this genotype as well as others identified as poor hosts for the leafminer may prove useful in breeding programs aimed at reducing the abundance of multiple insect pests on citrus.