UF TEAM FINDS POSSIBLE TREATMENT FOR CITRUS GREENING

ST. PETERSBURG (June 5, 2014) Florida Today – University of Florida researchers said Wednesday that they've found a possible treatment for a disease that's devastating citrus trees around the state, but caution that it could be years before the cure could become commercially available to growers.

The team from UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences said that it has discovered a chemical that kills the citrus greening bacteria.

The chemical — benzbromarone — has been used to treat gout in humans but has never been approved for use in the United States because of concerns over reports of acute liver injury. Researchers sprayed greenhouse tree shoots infected with greening with three different chemicals, and the benzbromarone halted the bacteria in 80 percent of the infected trees' shoots.

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