The use of laser light to enhance penetration of antimicrobials into citrus leaves

Ed Etxeberria, Pedro Gonzalez

Abstract


Penetration of externally applied agricultural solutions into citrus trees is hindered by the natural protective layers covering plant surfaces. At the present time, the battle against or Huanglongbing (or citrus greening) focuses on the possible application of antimicrobial substances. A possible solution to overcome the barrier imposed by the waxy cuticle is the use of laser technology. Laser light is capable of “melting” away microscopic “pin holes” on plant surfaces allowing for the penetration of applied substances. Using fluorescent molecules such as deoxyglucose and carboxyfluorescin, our investigation demonstrated the effectiveness of laser light technology in enhancing penetration of foliarly applied aqueous substances. We observed the movement of fluorescent deoxyglucose and carboxyfluorescin down the leaf in petiole within 4 hours and down the stem after 24 hours. The data presented in this communication demonstrated the usefulness of laser light in enhancing penetration of test substances into the leaf and movement through the tree.


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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283