See the current state and results of research on a stable antimicrobial peptide in Florida and elsewhere for combating citrus greening.

In 2020, scientists with the University of California Riverside (UCR) announced the discovery of an antimicrobial peptide derived from Australian finger limes, a wild citrus relative, that can treat and protect citrus trees against citrus greening. Research trials got underway as researchers everywhere attempted to develop this option for combating citrus greening. A recent Citrus Industry article reported on a multistate initiative for testing the stable antimicrobial peptide, or SAMP. See the details below.

Research on the Stable Antimicrobial Peptide Research

The article shared the various testing and trials of the stable antimicrobial peptide (SAMP) completed or underway. These include:

  • UC researchers conducted three greenhouse trials using an application of SAMP on HLB-positive trees. They found the SAMP applications reduced bacterial titer and inhibited the symptoms of the disease. They also found that the SAMP applications induces the plant’s immune responses. According to the article, two greenhouse trials also “showed that SAMP served as a protectant on young trees to protect them from future infection.”
  • Florida field trials at UF/IFAS CREC have been ongoing since 2020 into the australasica stable antimicrobial peptide (MaSAMP). According to the article, the trials have “successfully evaluate potential commercial formulations and use patterns, including application concentration, rate, and timing.” There are 29 field trials ongoing in 2022 involving 1,500 orange trees, with 18 trials underway in Florida. These trials are testing the “efficacy of MaSAMP formulations and use patterns across a wide range of environmental and cultural conditions,” as well as “impact of MaSAMP on CLas, Asian citrus psyllids, disease symptoms, fruit yield, fruit drop, and juice quality.”

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