The 2021 Florida Citrus Show saw UC Riverside geneticist Hailing Jin discussing the research into the stable antimicrobial peptide (SAMP).

Florida citrus growers have a lot to think about in terms of the future after the 2020 Florida Citrus Show highlighted the stable antimicrobial peptide (SAMP). It was found by a UC Riverside research team, and it may be the silver bullet for citrus greening that citrus growers have been waiting for. According to a Citrus Industry article, the unique SAMP comes from citrus limes, a citrus relative found in Australia. Explore the details below.

Details of the Stable Antimicrobial Peptide (SAMP)

According to the article, “the peptide has dual functions of inhibiting Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) growth in HLB-positive trees and activating host immunity to prevent new infections.” According to Jin, it is rare for a treatment to do both.

Positives Jin shared with Citrus Show attendees about the stable antimicrobial peptide (SAMP) include:

  • “the peptide’s corkscrew-like helix structure is able to quickly puncture the CLas bacterium, causing it to die typically within half an hour,” which is faster than antibiotics that are traditionally used.
  • “the peptide can rescue trees already infected with the disease.”
  • The peptide has efficacy used as a spray application.
  • It is also stable in high temperatures, remaining active in 130-degree heat.
  • It is safer for the environment than other “synthetic treatments”.

Field trials into the peptide are currently underway in Florida.

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