Sunday, 16 May 2021
A Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) research team has found symptoms of a disease that is affecting Omani lime trees.

New illness threatens citrus trees in Oman

Dr Abdullah Mohammed al Sadi, a plant pathologist and dean of the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences at SQU stated, “The symptoms are characterised by yellow veins, blotchy mottled patterns on leaves, little green fruits, lopsided fruits, half green fruits, yellow shoots, twig dieback, and tree decline.

“Examination of the symptoms by our MSc student Ahmed al Fahdi, proved infection of the trees by the Asian strain of causal agent of citrus greening disease, a bacterium called Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus.”

Dr Sadi added, “The disease was observed in some farms in Sohar, Rustaq, Jebel Akhdar, Salalah and other areas.”

Citrus, specifically Omani lime, is a single of the most crucial trees in terms of production and cultivated location. Acid lime is cultivated in most components of the nation, specifically in the northern places. Citrus has faced numerous challenges more than the previous decades, of which the most crucial was Witches’ Broom Disease that killed practically a million lime trees.

Dr Sadi explained the illness referred to as Citrus greening or Huanglongbing illness (yellow dragon illness) is a single of the most significant illnesses that threatens citrus production in the globe.

The illness very first originated in China and it was then reported in other nations such as Brazil, the US, India, Saudi Arabia and other people. “It is important to do more surveys to investigate prevalence in other areas of the country. If the disease is not widespread in the sultanate, it may be necessary to eradicate the infected trees.”

Information Source: Muscat Daily

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