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New Submission Protocol for Citrus Greening and Citrus Canker Testing – Spring 2022

Due to recent personnel changes within the UGA Plant Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, we’ve had to make changes to the protocol for submission of citrus samples for viral and bacterial testing. Bulk samples mailed to the laboratory for routine testing for the bacterial diseases citrus greening (HLB) and citrus canker cannot be received at this time without prior approval. Furthermore, at this time, we are unable to accept any samples for citrus virus and viroid testing.

Growers and homeowners within Georgia who suspect citrus greening (HLB) or citrus canker are encouraged to first contact their local UGA county extension agent for help with initial diagnosis and information about sample collection. Dates/times for receipt of samples will be limited during Spring 2022, so prior to the submission of any samples for citrus greening (HLB) or citrus canker testing, please first contact Dr. Jonathan Oliver () to determine if and when samples can be received.

As always, for routine diagnosis of citrus samples, growers and homeowners are encouraged to first contact their local UGA county extension office. The UGA Plant Disease Clinic in Athens continues to provide citrus diagnostic support for Extension personnel and the residents of Georgia.

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About Jonathan Oliver

Dr. Jonathan Oliver is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Georgia. He has a 75% research and 25% extension appointment. Dr. Oliver started in his current position at the University of Georgia in mid-2017 as an extension fruit pathologist at the Coastal Plains Experiment Station in Tifton, Georgia. His responsibilities include research and extension activities focused on pathogen biology and disease management in fruit crops grown primarily in the southern part of Georgia, including blueberries, blackberries, citrus, and other emerging fruit crops. Dr. Oliver obtained a BS degree in Plant Pathology and Microbiology & Cell Science from the University of Florida in 2005, and a PhD in Plant Microbe Biology from Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY in 2011. In addition, he has also been postdoctoral researcher at Kansas State University and Auburn University. At Auburn, he characterized the interactions between the emerging bacterial pathogen, Xylella fastidiosa, and its blueberry plant hosts. He currently serves as a Plant Pathology Section editor for the Southeast Regional Blueberry Integrated Management Guide.