Relationship between sweet orange yield and intensity of Citrus Variegated Chlorosis
Citrus Variegated Chlorosis (CVC) is currently present in approximately 40% of citrus plants in Brazil and causes an annual loss of around 120 million US dollars to the Brazilian citrus industry. Despite the fact that CVC has been present in Brazil for over 20 years, a relationship between disease intensity and yield loss has not been established. In order to achieve this, an experiment was carried out in a randomized block design in a 3 x 2 factorial scheme with 10-year-old Natal sweet orange. The following treatments were applied: irrigation with 0, 50 or 100% of the evapotranspiration of the crop, combined with natural infection or artificial inoculation with Xylella fastidiosa, the causal agent of CVC. The experiment was evaluated during three seasons. A negative exponential model was fitted to the relationships between yield versus CVC severity and yield versus Area Under Disease Progress Curve (AUDPC). In addition, the relationship between yield versus CVC severity and canopy volume was fitted by a multivariate exponential model. The use of the AUDPC variable showed practical limitations when compared with the variable CVC severity. The parameter values in the relationship of yieldCVC severity were similar for all treatments unlike in the multivariate model. Consequently, the yieldCVC intensity relationship (with 432 data points) could be described by one single model: y = 114.07 exp(-0.017 x), where y is yield (symptomless fruit weight in kg) and x is disease severity (R2 = 0.45; P < 0.01).