DOST: Lab services for detection of citrus diseases now available in Nueva Vizcaya

Published March 15, 2021, 1:46 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Citrus Resources Research and Development (R&D) Center at the Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU) is currently offering indexing laboratory services for detection of two major citrus diseases in the country, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has announced.

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña (TOTO LOZANO/ Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña noted that the NVSU’s center has opened disease indexing laboratory for viral and bacterial based citrus diseases such as Huanglongbin (HLB) and citrus tristeza virus (CTV).

“This is important for pommelo seedlings intended for inter-island transport. The disease indexing for HLB is polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based like the swab test for COVID-19 while antigen test by serology is used for detection of CTV,” he said in a report.

He laments that the HLB and citrus tristeza are two of the major citrus diseases causing heavy decline in fruit productivity.

HLB is bacterial vectored by citrus psyllid, while CTV is viral vectored by aphids, De la Peña explained.

“In the plant material production system modeled by NVSU, citrus mother trees are kept inside the screenhouse to ward off the vectors,” he said.

“These mother trees are also indexed for the two diseases to make sure they are free from infection before budwoods are obtained for seedling production. NVSU established its own disease indexing for this purpose,” the DOST chief cited.