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USDA to OK biocontrol for citrus greening

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) proposes to allow the release of the parasitoid wasp, Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis, for the biological control of Asian citrus psyllids (Diaphorina citri). The psyllids are a vector for the disease, citrus greening or Huanglongbing, which is caused by the bacterium, Candidatus liberibacter asiaticus. In areas of the world where the disease is endemic, citrus trees decline and die within a few years and may never produce usable fruit, the APHIS notes. It is present in several US states and territories, including Florida and Hawaii. The APHIS has issued an environmental assessment, which is open to public comment until October 20th.

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