University of Catania
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Vida for Citrus, development of sustainable control strategies for citric under threat of climate change & preventing entry in HLB in EU
international research
Other UE programmes
Programma LIFE - call 2018
Main ERC field: 
Life Sciences
Unict role: 
Duration (months): 
Start date: 
Monday, July 1, 2019
End date: 
Friday, June 30, 2023
Total cost: 
€ 2.962.777,00
Unict cost: 
€ 293.546,00
Asociación Agraria Jóvenes Agricultores de Málaga
Principal investigator in Unict: 
Prof. Alberto Continella
University department involved: 
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Asociación Agraria de Jóvenes Agricultores Nacional (Asaja); AGRIMARBA SL; ASAJA; AVA-Asaja La Asociación Valenciana de Agricultores (AVA); Ayuntamiento de Sevilla; Centro de Cooperación Internacional en Investigación Agrícola para el Desarrollo (Francia) CIRAD; Instituto Canario de Investigaciones Agrarias: (ICIA); Instituto Andaluz de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera Alimentaria y de la Producción Ecológica; Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agronómica (Francia) INRA; Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA); Universidade do Algarve (Portugal); Valenciagro – Produção Frutícola Unipessoal LDA


LIFE Vida for Citrus is a European project that aims to protect the citrus sector by developing plants resistant to diseases and with the idea of ​​implementing cultural practices that respect the environment. Citrus fruits are vulnerable to a disease called Huanlongbing (HLB) or "greening of citrus fruits", caused by CandidatusLiberibacterpp, a bacterium that spreads from insects. One of these vector insects, the African citrus psyllid (Triozaerytreae), has already been found in Spain and Portugal. This disease currently has no known cure and current means of control have a high environmental cost.

Life Vida For Citrus has as objectives:

  • contribute to the early diagnosis of HLB by developing a marketable early detection kit;
  • try new rootstocks resistant to pathogens and heat resistant which can be adapted to the production of Mediterranean citrus fruits and therefore increase the resilience of plants;
  • demonstrate effective techniques to control the propagation of vectors and increase defense across the ecosystem with sustainable agricultural practices, while providing other environmental benefits;
  • promote international cooperation and involve the outermost regions of the EU in strategies to prevent the entry of HLB and limit possible spread;
  • create a replicable model of agricultural practices for the prevention of vectors / diseases for citrus growers in the EU, while increasing their ability to adapt to climate change.