University of California finds substance capable of controlling devastating citrus disease

Scientists at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) have found the first substance capable of controlling Citrus Greening Disease, which has devastated citrus farms in Florida and also threatens California.

The University of Florida has also been working towards a solution, as reported in March 2020.

A release issued by UCR explains the new treatment effectively kills the bacterium causing the disease with a naturally occurring molecule found in wild citrus relatives.

The molecule, an antimicrobial peptide, offers numerous advantages over the antibiotics currently used to treat the disease. UCR geneticist Hailing Jin, who discovered the 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.

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Chris Komorek