The University of Arizona will receive part of a $9 million federal contract to research citrus greening disease.
Professor Judith Brown of the UA's School of Plant Sciences will lead the research conducted in Arizona, where the disease hasn't been seen so far - although the bug that spreads it has been detected in western counties.
The research will look for ways to prevent and halt the spread of the disease.
As the disease spreading citrus psyllid is banned and under quarantine the investigation is being carried out on the potato psyllid instead.
The University of Arizona is collaborating with a lab at Washington State University. The universities combined receive about $1 million of the contract from the US Agriculture Department. The other $8 million is divided among research teams in Florida, Texas and California, Brown said.
The citrus industry is worth an annual $37 million to Arizona's economy.