On July 27, 2020, a dozen farmers from Guadeloupe received detailed training on HLB disease at the Roujol station. Organized locally by CIRAD and Assofwi with the support of VIVEA, the training action was part of the A2 action of the Life project “Vida for Citrus”.
The training took place at CIRAD’s Roujol station in Petit-Bourg over a full day. The training included three oral presentations, the themes of which were:
- • General introduction to HLB disease: its origin, its diffusion and infection mechanisms, its symptoms, its impact on tree physiology and fruit development, its virulence and host spectrum, its insect vectors and their identification, etc…;
- • The importance of choosing the right rootstock for one’s citrus plantation, according to the local environment and soil;
- • Investigations under way at CIRAD Guadeloupe to understand the physiological and molecular bases of the disease tolerance observed in certain varieties, particularly in relation to polyploidy, and to create new, more tolerant fruit and rootstock varieties.
These oral presentations were given by Dr. Raphaël MORILLON, in charge of research projects on citrus genetic improvement in the West Indies, within the AGAP research unit (Cirad). The training also included a visit to a trial plot planted with a population of triploid hybrids of the “Tahiti lime” type, designed to select ideotypes that are more tolerant to HLB and adapted to local consumers’ tastes. A plot of various diploid and tetraploid rootstocks was also visited to address the issue of identification and identical reproduction of high-performance rootstocks. This visit was conducted by Mr. MORILLON and Saturnin BRUYERE, technician in charge of the test plots. The training day ended with a tasting session of locally produced or imported citrus fruit in order to define their organoleptic qualities and specify the demands of the local market. The farmers were interested in all the presentations, which gave rise to rich exchanges with the trainers.