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Author Topic: HLB Could Be Gone In 3 Years  (Read 225 times)

Millet

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HLB Could Be Gone In 3 Years
« on: October 05, 2020, 04:29:11 PM »
According to a news article released by the University of California Riverside (UCR), scientists there have found a substance which may be capable of controlling citrus greening disease. The disease, also known as huanglongbing (HLB), has devastated citrus in Florida and in other regions worldwide. It also threatens California crops.

The article says the new treatment effectively kills the bacterium causing the disease with a naturally occurring molecule found in wild citrus relatives. This molecule, an antimicrobial peptide, offers numerous advantages over the antibiotics currently used to treat the disease.


Citrus greening disease
UCR geneticist Hailing Jin, who discovered the potential cure after a five-year search, explained that unlike antibiotic sprays, the peptide is stable even when used outdoors in high heat, easy to manufacture and safe for humans.

“This peptide is found in the fruit of greening-tolerant Australian finger limes, which have been consumed for hundreds of years,” Jin said. “It is much safer to use this natural plant product on agricultural crops than other synthetic chemicals.”

Currently, some growers in Florida are spraying antibiotics and pesticides in an attempt to save trees from the CLas bacterium that causes citrus greening.

“Most antibiotics are temperature sensitive, so their effects are largely reduced when applied in the hot weather,” Jin said. “By contrast, this peptide is stable even when used in 130-degree heat.”

Jin found the peptide by examining plants such as the Australian finger lime, known to possess natural tolerance for the bacteria that causes citrus greening disease. She isolated the genes that contribute to this innate immunity. One of these genes produces the peptide, which she then tested over the course of two years. Improvement was soon visible.

“You can see the bacteria drastically reduced, and the leaves appear healthy again only a few months after treatment,” Jin said.

Because the peptide only needs to be reapplied a few times per year, it is highly cost effective for growers. This peptide can also be developed into a vaccine-like solution to protect young healthy plants from infection, as it is able to induce the plant’s innate immunity to the bacteria.

The peptide can be applied by injection or foliar spray, and it moves systemically through plants and remains stable, which makes the effect of the treatment stronger.

The treatment will be further enhanced with proprietary injection technology made by Invaio Sciences. UC Riverside has entered into an exclusive, worldwide license agreement with Invaio, ensuring this new treatment goes exactly where it’s needed in plants.

“Invaio is enthusiastic to partner with UC Riverside and advance this innovative technology for combating the disease,” said Invaio Chief Science Officer Gerardo Ramos. “The prospect of addressing this previously incurable and devastating crop disease, helping agricultural communities and improving the environmental impact of production is exciting and rewarding. This is crop protection in harmony with nature.”

The need for an HLB cure is a global problem, but hits especially close to home as California produces 80 percent of all the fresh citrus in the United States, said Brian Suh, director of technology commercialization in UCR’s Office of Technology Partnerships, which helps bring university technology to market for the benefit of society through licenses, partnerships and startup companies.

“This license to Invaio opens up the opportunity for a product to get to market faster,” Suh said. “Cutting-edge research from UCR, like the peptide identified by Dr. Jin, has a tremendous amount of commercial potential and can transform the trajectory of real-world problems with these innovative solution
Citrus Industry Magazine
« Last Edit: October 05, 2020, 04:32:05 PM by Millet »

shaneatwell

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Re: HLB Could Be Gone In 3 Years
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2020, 04:50:26 PM »
Antibiotic peptides is a very cool new field. Should make a big impact on human health in the coming years as well.

Very cool.
Shane

roblack

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Re: HLB Could Be Gone In 3 Years
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2020, 05:15:44 PM »
Hot diggity! Wonderful news if this pans out. Have read about other potential breakthroughs as well.

Jaboticaba45

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Re: HLB Could Be Gone In 3 Years
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2020, 07:42:51 PM »
If this means no more quarantine, then I am all in for it.

I graft palms and bananas -Ryan

 

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