PTE听力口语练习-科学60秒-Florida citrus crop

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Ten years ago, a bacterial disease began to eat away at the Florida citrus crop.
It’s called huanglongbing, or citrus greening, and it causes misshapen, bitter green fruits and,eventually, dead trees.
Since 2005, the infection is estimated to have caused billions of dollars in damage.
And the microbe did all that damage with the unwitting help of a tiny winged insect, the citruspsyllid, which spreads the bacterium as it feeds.
But now researchers at the USDA and the University of Florida have come up with a pesticidefree way to battle the insect:by disrupting its ability to find a mate.
When male psyllids are looking for love, they beat their wings, sending vibrations along a tree’sbranches.
Nearby females pick up that signal and send back one of their own, which tells males to comehither.
The researchers eavesdropped on that duet with a microphone, rigged to an electronicmicrocontroller.
And when the controller identified a male’s call, it sent out a decoy female responsemorequickly than real females could respond.
That imposter’s call actually lured males to the device, where instead of a mate they foundflypaper.
The researchers presented the results at a meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, inJacksonville, Florida.
The technique isn’t ready for the limelight just yet.
For one, though the decoy call does fool the bugs, they’re still adept at avoiding the flypaper.
But the researchers say this sort ofsignal jamminginterference might be able to disruptthe insects’ ability to find a mate, cutting overall numbers of the pest.
A similar technique has worked in vineyardsand if it works in orange groves, it could helpcitrus growers get out of this squeeze.


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