Laser perforations deliver antibiotics to cure citrus greening
Florida's citrus industry has been struggling for nearly a decade with citrus greening, also known as Huanglongbing (HLB), a disease caused by a bacterium that destroys fruit production and eventually kills the tree. An effective cure has eluded researchers so far, and crop production is declining steadily. Fortunately, perforating the leaves with a laser improves antibiotic delivery and could cure the disease.
Lasers are proving useful in numerous agricultural applications including LIDAR for leveling crop fields in order to optimize water flow, for additive manufacturing to repair plowing blades and other farm equipment components, to add color and nutrients to growing crops, and now, to perforate leaves in order to improve the uptake of antibiotics that can cure certain plant diseases like Florida's citrus greening problem.