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Biological, environmental and socioeconomic threats to citrus lime production

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection
Issue number4
Volume125
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)339-356
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date21/03/18
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Limes as a fruit crop are of great economic importance, key to Asian and South American cuisines and cultivated in nearlyall tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Demand for limes is increasing, driven by World Health Organizationrecommendations. Pests and pathogens have significantly reduced global productivity, while changes in agronomictechniques aim to alleviate this stress. We present here a holistic examination of the major biotic (pests and pathogens) andabiotic (environment and socioeconomic) factors that presently limit global production of lime. The major producers oflimes are India, China and Mexico, while loss of lime production in the United States from 2006 has led many countries inthe Western Hemisphere (Mexico, Costa Rica and Brazil) to export primarily to the USA. The most widespread inver-tebrate pests of lime areToxoptera citricidaandScirtothrips citri. Another insect,Diaphorina citri, vectors both Huan-glongbing (HLB) and Witches Broom of Lime, which are particularly destructive diseases. Developing agronomictechniques focus on production of resistant and pathogen-free planting materials and control of insect vectors. HLB infectscitrus in nearly all growing regions, and has been particularly devastating in Asian citrus. Meanwhile,Citrus tristeza virushas infected over 100 million citrus trees, mainly in the Americas and Mediterranean. Currently, Witches Broom Disease ofLime is localised to the Middle East, but recently it has been detected in South America. The range of its vectors (D. citriandHishimonus phycitis) further raises concerns about the potential spread of this disease. Abiotic threats to limeproduction are also a significant concern; key areas of lime production such as Mexico, India and the Middle East sufferfrom increasing water stress and high soil salinity, which combined with invasive pests and pathogens, may eliminate limeproduction in these areas. To ensure future security in lime production, policy makers, researchers and growers will need toexamine the potential of more resistant lime cultivars and establish novel areas of cultivation.