Asian citrus psyllid attacks all varieties of citrus and very closely related ornamental plants in the family Rutaceae (mock orange, Indian curry leaf, orange jasmine and other Murraya species). This pest attacks new citrus leaf growth and, because of the salivary toxin that it injects, causes the new leaf tips to twist or burn back. However, the more serious damage that it causes is due to the psyllid vectoring the bacterium (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus) that causes Huanglongbing (HLB or citrus greening) disease. Huanglongbing causes shoots to yellow, asymmetrically (blotchy mottle), and results in asymmetrically shaped fruit with aborted seeds and bitter juice. The disease can kill a citrus tree within 5 to 8 years, and there is no known cure for the disease.
This session will examine the life cycle of the psyllid and the different remediation models as well as understanding technology to develop a framework for tracking the effectiveness of the remediation strategies and its impact on the environment.
Sophia Matthews is a student scientist in the Ecotek Lab Program and a 9th grader at Lake Wales High School in Lake Wales, Florida. In addition to discussing on the impact of the Asian Citrus Psyllid on the citrus ecosystem, Sophia will also be presenting information regarding how student scientists in the the Ecotek Lab are proactively working together to develop innovative solutions to address citrus greening. Sophia joined the Ecotek Lab Program in May 2016. She is the co-lead on the life science research.
John Scharff is a student scientist in the Ecotek Lab Program and a 9th grader at Lake Wales High School in Lake Wales, Florida. He will be discussing and demonstrating an innovative web application that he developed with the assistance of Ivan Torres, another student scientist in the Ecotek Lab Program. The application integrates biomathematics and virtual computing to forecast the impact of various citrus greening field remediation strategies. John joined the Ecotek Lab Program in October 2016. He has a strong background in application programming using Java Script and HTML