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N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC): an antioxidant molecule for bacterial plant disease control

Grant number: 17/02733-6
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: November 01, 2017 - October 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy
Principal Investigator:Simone Cristina Picchi
Grantee:Simone Cristina Picchi
Company:Simone Cristina Picchi
City: Araras
Assoc. researchers:Alessandra Alves de Souza ; Helvecio Della Coletta Filho ; Marco Aurélio Takita ; Marcos Antonio Machado
Associated research grant:15/22144-0 - Antioxidant molecule in plant disease control: N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), AP.PIPE
Associated scholarship(s):18/06084-5 - Effect of N-acetyl cysteine on sweet orange plants treated with NACagri to reduce of CVC on field, BP.TT
18/02790-2 - N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC): an antioxidant molecule in the control of plants bacterial diseases, BP.TT
17/24691-3 - N-acetylcysteine effect on NACagri-treated plants in field to reduce oxidative stress, BP.TT
17/23200-6 - N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC): an antioxidant molecule for bacterial plant disease control, BP.PIPE


Citriculture is the most prominent Brazilian commodity in the international market and outstands for its great importance in Brazilian agribusiness, being Brazil the world's biggest orange juice exporter, producing more than 1,000 ton of juice and generating about 230,000 jobs. The main Citriculture area in the country comprises the Citriculture belt located in São Paulo and Minas Gerais states, where it has been observed a huge decline in citrus-planted area and orange production. Many factors add up to this contraction, such as phytosanitary problems and the sector's profit decline. Among the phytosanitary problems, outstand incurable diseases that affect the orchards recurrently. Amidst them, variegated citrus chlorosis (CVC), citrus canker and HuangLongBing (HLB), also known as greening, are diseases which available tools for management have very low efficacy. For CVC the control is almost entirely based on the leafhoppers elimination with use of repeated insecticide applications. For citrus canker, the only alternative available is the elimination of symptomatic trees and the application of cupric compounds on the plants suspected of infection and for HBL the trees elimination is the only alternative. These actions have limited efficacy and present a negative impact on the profits for growers. So, we developed two new products NACsolution (for pulverization) and NACagri (a biofertilizer) to be applied in field, both based on the antioxidant, anti-adhesive and antibacterial properties of the molecule N-acetil-cysteine (NAC), a cysteine analogue widely used in human health due to its low toxicity. This compound lowers the bacteria titration in CVC-infected plants, reducing symptoms and allowing the fruit utilization for downstream juice processing, even in plants with advanced stages of infection. For citrus canker, NAC application seemed to be an alternative to block disease progression and its use in healthy plants promoted a better development of the plants. Therefore, our proposition is to keep with the NAC assessments in field with CVC and citrus canker-infected plants, as well as in field with healthy plants, eventually to present a new, more sustainable and economically viable proposition for Citriculture, with also the possibility of future application in other economically important crops. Fapesp has been financing the NAC studies in bacteria for many years and this project represents the last step in this cycle in order to transfer this technology and the intellectual production of the last years to the growers. So, at the end of this project we intend to consolidate the knowledge-to-innovation process for the benefit of the society. (AU)

Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant
Molecule used as a mucolytic fights bacterial diseases in agricultural crops  
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