15 September 2020

FIRST TRAINING SEMINAR of the LIFE Project18 CCA/ES/001109 “Introduction, objectives and presentation of the activities of the LIFE Vida for Citrus project in the Canary Islands

The Unit of ICIA’s Plant Protection has been carrying out different activities research and dissemination on the sustainable control of the pest Trioza erytreae; specifically, in the framework of the 2018 call for projects of the “Climate Change” programme Adaptation” within the European LIFE Programme, the project of LIFE18 CCA/EN/001109 demonstration with title “Development of sustainable control strategies for citric under threat of climate change & preventing entry of HLB in EU” with a period of validity of between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2023. 
The Huanglongbing (HLB) or Greening, one of whose vectors is the African psylla (Trioza erytreae), poses a serious threat to the cultivation and the citrus fruit industry. African psyllium is present in The Canary Islands since 2002, in Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro, and later, in Gran Canaria from 2011. It was also described in Peninsular Spain in 2014, and since then it has spread to several regions, including Portugal. It is currently widespread and well established along the northwest coast of the Iberian Peninsula, from Cedeira in A Coruña (Spain) to Pontes / Setúbal in Portugal, and has recently been detected and reported in Asturias and Cantabria (EPPO, 2020). Therefore, if no measures are implemented of more efficient control and management, it will be inevitable that T. erytreae will spread throughout the Iberian Peninsula, affecting to the main citrus-growing areas in Spain and Portugal.
Like Prior to the development of this project, ICIA and IVIA have worked on coordinated way in the classical biological control project for psyllium in Spain, consisting of import, breeding and subsequent Release of the parasitoid Tamarixia dryi in the Canary Islands (Waterston) from South Africa (State Plan Projects E-RTA 2015-00005-C06-00 of R&D&I 2013-2016). The protocols and results derived from this work are a benchmark at European level, and are currently being implemented in the regions recently affected by T. erytreae in Spain and Portugal. 
As a partner in this LIFE project, ICIA is responsible for the implementation of different actions aimed at testing new rootstocks and citrus varieties, as well as demonstrating sustainable techniques to effectively control the spread of vectors, implementing the appropriate methodology to increase biodiversity through the hedges and plant cover.  
These actions are being carried out on three plots demonstrations of citrus fruits, located in Tenerife (Valle de Guerra and Güímar) and Gran Canaria, and are focused on: biological control in citrus fruits, management of plant cover, planting of hedges to encourage control conservation, placement of insect hotels and testing with new plant material (standard-variety combinations). The aim of this training is to make the objectives known, the technical protocols and actions developed by ICIA as a partner of LIFE for CITRUS project. Also, to refer to the results expected, which will be replicable to citrus production areas at regional and national, with its potential impact on increasing the quality of the production of this sector in the Canary Islands.
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