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Detection of Citrus Huanglongbing by Fourier Transform InfraredAttenuated Total Reflection Spectroscopy

Volume 64, Number 1 (Jan. 2010) Page 100-103

Hawkins, Samantha A.; Park, Bosoon; Poole, Gavin H.; Gottwald, Timothy; Windham, William R.; Lawrence, Kurt C.


Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB, also known as citrus greening disease) was discovered in Florida in 2005 and is spreading rapidly amongst the citrus growing regions of the state. Detection via visual symptoms of the disease is not a long-term viable option. New techniques are being developed to test for the disease in its earlier presymptomatic stages. Fourier transform infrared-attenuated total reflection (FT-IR-ATR) spectroscopy is a candidate for rapid, inexpensive, early detection of the disease. The mid-infrared region of the spectrum reveals dramatic changes that take place in the infected leaves when compared to healthy non-infected leaves. The carbohydrates that give rise to peaks in the 900-1180 cm−1 range are reliable in distinguishing leaves from infected plants versus non-infected plants. A model based on chemometrics was developed using the spectra from 179 plants of known disease status. This model then correctly predicted the status of >95% of the plants tested.