A recently published research suggests that dogs can save the diseased citrus groves.Scientists have been able to train canines to sniff out a crop disease called citrus greening that has recently hit lemon, orange and grapefruit orchards in California, Florida, and Texas. The dog can detect the disease weeks or up to a year before it actually shows up on the leaves and roots of the trees.Timothy Gottwald, who is a researcher at the US Department of Agriculture, said that the dog’s nose was a technology that had been available for thousands of years. The scientists have now started using this technology to hunt down a bacteria that causes a crop-damaging disease.Getting dog detectives to sniff out the disease is cheaper and faster. The procedure is more effective than people collecting hundreds of leaves and then getting them analyzed in the lab.Citrus greening is caused by bacteria, which is spread by a tiny insect that feeds on the stems and the leaves of citrus trees. No cure has been found as of yet for the infected trees.The disease is also found in South and Central America and even Asia.In an experiment conducted in a grapefruit orchard in Texas, the dogs showed 95% accuracy in distinguishing between healthy trees and those who were newly infected.Gottwald said that the earlier you were able to detect a disease, the better odds you had to stop an epidemic.Laura Sims, a plant scientist, said that she was impressed by the effort in the research to find whether the dogs were sniffing out the plant’s response to the disease or they were sniffing out the bacteria.The researchers had infected numerous unrelated plants with the bacteria in a laboratory, and the canines were still able to identify the plants that were affected.Image source: Gavin Poole via Chron
So you want to know more about me, eh? Well, I am a Canadian, husband, and father of two young men.
I would say boys but they are not really “boys” anymore. They are 19 and 17. But they will always be my little ones. :-)
And, of course, we also have a dog. He is an Affenpinscher. Also affectionately known as a Monkey Dog.
His name is Monty. Yes, it is after Monty Python as he is a funny, crazy character.
Dogs have always been a part of my life. My parents started and owned a Dog and Cat boarding kennel just 20 minutes north of Victoria, on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia.
I started this website as a way to give back to the dog community. Which is full of many extraordinary dogs and owners doing many different and exciting things.
I hope you come back often to enjoy the wondrous stories I find.
Thank You for your time and interest.