Develop effective therapies to cure HLB using a novel class of citrus-derived antimicrobial peptides
Principal Investigator Affiliation:
University of California, Riverside
- Kris Godfrey
Huanglongbing (HLB) is the most devastating citrus disease associated with a phloem-limited bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). Despite extensive efforts and research, there is still no cure for HLB. It is imperative to find effective strategies to control HLB and to ensure the survival of the citrus industry in California. We discovered a novel class of citrus-derived anti-microbial peptides (AP) that are highly expressed in HLB-tolerant citrus relatives. Application of AP1 can inhibit/kill CLas effectively in citrus and more importantly, it can also promote citrus immune responses. We aim to develop effective therapies using the dual functional AP1 to cure HLB-positive citrus trees and to protect healthy trees from CLas infection.