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Call For Abstracts

Notice – Abstract submission is now closed.

The Abstract Review Committee will review and select the abstracts that will be requested as oral presentations. The balance of the abstracts will be assigned to associated poster sessions.

After December 31, 2016 the selections will be presented in the conference agenda which will be posted on the website and emailed to all registrants.

Abstract Preparation Instructions

Researchers are invited to submit abstracts of 300 words or less for the meeting (multiple abstracts allowed). Each abstract should be prepared for standard 8.5X11 inch US format paper, 12 pt ‘Times New Roman’ font, single-spaced, as a Microsoft Word document.

Abstracts will be reviewed by a scientific panel of experts for each specialization area. The panel will determine whether research described in the abstracts meets scientific standards with respect to replication and experimental design. While the goal is not to exclude submissions, those deemed not sound scientifically based on lack of replication may be rejected. A 2-3 sentence non-technical summary is a requirement of the abstract submission process. This statement should be at the end of the abstract as in the example below. This statement is meant to translate the scientific findings to a general audience in a few sentences. Also, the goal of this non-technical summary is to succinctly state how the research findings may beneficially impact citrus production, no matter how far off into the future. Abstracts lacking a non-technical summary may be subject to rejection by the scientific panel.

Important Note: Due to the finite duration of the conference, not all submissions can be considered for oral presentations. The Abstract Review Committee will review the abstracts and select the abstracts that will be requested as oral presentations.

Oral Presentation Instructions

Oral presentations are allotted a 15 minute time slot: please allow sufficient time for questions. Suggested timing is 10 minutes for the presentation followed by 5 minutes for questions. Session moderators will be asked to strictly enforce this time limit.

Presentation format must be Microsoft PowerPoint. The 2-3 sentence non-technical summary is a required component as the last slide of the presentation. All oral presentations, with the exception of keynote lectures, must be turned into the registration desk on Tuesday, March 14th. Presentations will be accepted on memory stick or CD.

To respect research in progress, presentations will not be made publically available and will be erased from the computer at the conclusion of the conference.

Poster Presentation Instructions

Posters must not exceed 36 inches wide by 48 inches high (91 cm X 122 cm). The official language for the posters is English. Posters should be readable from a distance of 6 feet (2 m). Please keep this in mind when preparing diagrams, charts, tables and photographs. Poster text should include a title, author(s) and affiliation(s), abstract or summary, introduction, methods, results and conclusions. The 2-3 sentence non-technical summary is a required component on the poster. Handouts can be prepared for distribution at the poster session.

Abstracts should comply with the following outline:

Abstract Title (in bold type)

Blank Line

Author(s) and affiliation(s) [Presenting author’s name should be indicated in bold type]

Blank Line

Body of Text

Blank Line

Non-Technical Summary

Blank Line



Insect vectors are ‘deceptively’ attracted to sub-optimal trees infected by a bacterial pathogen; Can the environment be manipulated to prevent vectors from finding infected trees?

Lukasz STELINSKI1, Emily KUHNS1, Xavier MARTINI1, Rajinder MANN1, Jared ALI1, Kirsten PELZ-STELINSKI1, Hans ALBORN2

1University of Florida, Lake Alfred, USA, 2U.S. Department of Agriculture, Gainesville, USA

Abstract: We experimentally demonstrate specific mechanisms through which a bacterial plant pathogen induces plant responses that modify behavior of its insect vector. Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, a fastidious, phloem-limited bacterium responsible for causing huanglongbing disease of citrus, induced release of a specific volatile chemical, methyl salicylate, which increased attractiveness of infected plants to its insect vector, Diaphorina citri, and caused vectors to initially prefer infected plants. However, the insect vectors subsequently dispersed to non-infected plants as their preferred location of prolonged settling because of likely sub-optimal nutritional content of infected plants. The duration of initial feeding on infected plants was sufficiently long for the vectors to acquire the pathogen before they dispersed to non-infected plants, suggesting that the bacterial pathogen manipulates behavior of its insect vector to promote its own proliferation. The behavior of psyllids in response to infected versus non-infected plants was not influenced by whether or not they were carriers of the pathogen and was similar under both light and dark conditions. Feeding on citrus by D. citri adults also induced the release of methyl salicylate, suggesting that it may be a cue advertising location of conspecifics on host plants. We are currently exploring whether masking the environment with large amounts of methyl salycilate may prevent vectors from homing in on bacterially infected trees analogously to the mating disruption technique. Preliminary evidence suggests that we may be able to reduce the vector’s ability to discriminate between infected and uninfected trees, potentially reducing pathogen spread.

Non-Technical summary: Infection of citrus with the causal agent of HLB changes the profile of volatiles released by trees. Infected trees are more attractive, yet less nutritious, to psyllid vectors. The pathogen may be ‘tricking’ the vector to promote its own spread. Since infected trees release a ‘beacon’ that psyllids specifically home in on, our objective is to ‘hide’ infected trees from psyllids. We are investigating if we can effectively mask the chemical trail released from infected trees so that psyllids are unable to preferentially disperse toward infected trees. This may eventually be an additional tool to prevent pathogen spread.


Topic Categories:

* Host

* Pathogen

* Vector

* Host-pathogen interactions

* Vector-host interactions

* Pathogen-vector interactions

* Infection consequences

* Epidemiology and Cultural Control

Abstracts will be compiled by category and published as Proceedings of the International Research Conference on HLB. The Proceedings will be made available to conference attendees following the meeting.