CC BY 4.0 Gottwald et al / ARS / PNAS Researchers find that dogs can be trained to sniff out the bacteria that causes citrus greening, with 99+ percent accuracy. Sometime over the course of the last few centuries, a bacterium known as Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) hopped over from the animal to plant kingdom, where it has been thriving ever since. The bacterium gives rise to a disease called huanglongbing, doing business as "citrus greening disease." Researchers from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) call huanglongbing "one of the most severe pandemics in modern times." The disease is proving treacherous to the citrus industry across the globe, and doing so with extra oomph in the Western Hemisphere. In the past decade in the United States, huanglongbing (HLB) has caused around a 21 percent decrease in the fresh citrus fruit market and about a 72 percent decline in the production of oranges used for juice and other products. Florida is being hit especially hard; if not curtailed, the sunshine state’s citrus industry could be destroyed. Now how hard can it really be to fight a little bacterium? I mean, we have figured out how to do things like hurtle […]


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