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Protecting plants with antimicrobial peptides and gallates

Grant number: 18/23306-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 04, 2019
Effective date (End): March 03, 2020
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Plant Health
Principal Investigator:Henrique Ferreira
Grantee:Guilherme Dilarri
Supervisor: Felix Jakob
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Research place: RWTH Aachen University, Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:17/07306-9 - Protection of citrus with antibacterial peptides and gallates, BP.DR


Citriculture is one of the most important economic activities in Brazil, being the largest producer of sweet oranges in the world. One of the major diseases affecting citrus is the citrus canker, caused by the bacteria Xanthomonas citri ssp. citri (X. citri), causing great losses in fruit production and quality. The strategy to eradicate contaminated plants was abandoned in the state of São Paulo and mitigation was adopted. The only chemical control available is the use of copper formulations, which is a toxic compound and which, when used for a long time, can generate resistance in X. citri. Thus, it is necessary to search for alternatives to be used in place of cupric bactericides. However, one of the main difficulties is to find an antimicrobial agent that can be fix to the leaves such as copper. In addition, the antimicrobial compound must be able to withstand environmental weather such as copper without disturbing the foliar metabolic activity. Polymers can be a solution to this problem, since it is possible to immobilize antimicrobial compounds within their matrices and to fix them onto citrus leaves. The German group, collaborator of the project FAPESP/BMBF 2015/50162-2 and FAPESP 2017/07306-9, are experts in the synthesis of microgels, with high capacity of fixation. Our collaborators are willing to teach us the synthesis of these polymer matrices, since this polymer may have great potential for agricultural application.

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