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A chemical approach to understand the Huanglongbing (greening) disease

Grant number: 21/00728-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: October 01, 2021 - September 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal researcher:Taicia Pacheco Fill
Grantee:Taicia Pacheco Fill
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Brazil is the world's largest citrus producer and exporter of frozen concentrated orange juice and therefore, citrus represent an important percentage of Brazilian economy. Since 2004, Brazil has been fighting a very devastating pathogen, the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) the causal agent of Huanglongbing (HLB) disease, which is nowadays, the biggest concern related to the world’s citriculture and considered the most destructive disease in citriculture's history. In Brazil, the disease is commonly known as greening. So far, scientists still could not develop an efficient and safe control strategy to this problem. Our research group has been focusing attention in the citrus diseases caused by bacteria and fungi, trying to gain insights into the pathogen-host interaction from a chemical perspective. Based on our initial findings (unpublished data), we hypothesized a new bacterial virulence chemical mechanism and propose an alternative to control the greening disease. Thus, in this project, we intend to try to understand the bacterial virulence strategy using chemical analytical approaches and transcriptomic approaches and use the pathogen's strategy against itself. If our hypothesis on the bacterial virulence is correct, we are going to provide the first insights into an alternative and safe strategy to control the disease in short term, saving the orchards and restructuring Brazilian citriculture to its highest productivity. (AU)

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