Researchers with UF/IFAS are using CTV technology to help citrus to combat citrus greening.

Recent news into the use of a peptide from finger limes to fight citrus greening has highlighted the use of another technology currently being researched to combat the deadly citrus disease: CTV technology. It’s the name researchers like research assistant and scientist Choaa El-Mohtar and his team call the technology they are using to use the citrus tristeza virus (CTV) as a vector to deliver antimicrobial peptides to citrus trees to fight citrus greening, according to a Citrus Industry article. Explore the technology below.

Using CTV Technology Against Citrus Greening

The citrus tristeza virus is used in this research to deliver antimicrobial peptides to citrus trees. “One aspect of our collaboration is expressing antimicrobial peptides through the CTV vector. We express them in citrus seedlings and then infect them with the HLB bacteria through the Asian citrus psyllid vector. Then we wait one to two years to see which one has an effect and which ones do not,” El-Mohtar said of the CTV technology in the article.

The research team is testing many compounds in this manner, and some have shown a lot of promise. In the article, El-Mohtar said, “For example, the HLB bacteria will be present in the plant, but the seedling will continue to grow, versus if you don’t put the antimicrobial peptide in the seedling, it will collapse.”

The next step is large-scale field experiments in the field; a USDA permit has already been issued. According to the article, El-Mohtar believes field testing will be successful, and then the technology can be used in seedlings sold to citrus growers.

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