Researchers with the University of California and others have achieved metabolic modeling of the citrus greening bacteria to combat the disease.

Combating the bacteria responsible for citrus greening has been a difficult task. Researchers have been unable to cultivate the bacteria in a laboratory, making it difficult to study. Until now. A University of California Riverside research team has made advances in the metabolic modeling of the bacterium associated with citrus greening. According to a Citrus Research article, this advancement has revealed new control methods. See the details below.

Metabolic Modeling Details

The article likens Metabolic models of organisms to road maps of cities. University of California Riverside microbiology professor James Borneman said, “They show you all the biological processes and how they work together. They also show you which molecular pathways, if blocked, will kill the organism.”

Researchers made models for six different strains of the bacterium responsible for citrus greening, CLas. These models enabled them to identify over 90 enzymes that are necessary for the bacterium’s survival. Those enzymes are all now possible molecular pathways that can be blocked to kill the bacteria.

The team was also able to identify metabolites necessary for the bacteria to grow, which researchers believe will help when it comes to cultivating it in a laboratory setting. The bacteria will be much easier to study if it can be cultivated in a lab.

Researchers from UC Riverside, UC San Diego, Texas A&M University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture all collaborated on the project.

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