See the details of field trials for the citrus peptide, branded as Vismax, which treats citrus greening.

Field trials for the citrus peptide—recently hailed as a breakthrough in the fight against citrus greening—have been ongoing for the last four years. Branded as Vismax by Elemental Enzymes, a St. Louis biotechnology firm that holds the patent on the peptide, it was discovered by a researcher with the University of California. Elemental Enzymes CEO Brian Thompson shared information on the peptide’s field trials at a Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) virtual seminar, according to a Citrus Industry article. See the details below.

Citrus Peptide Field Trials

According to the article, Thompson maintained during the seminar that the last four years of citrus peptide field trials—45 in all on 10 citrus varieties—”have demonstrated that Vismax increases yield, reduces infection levels and accelerates tree recovery across Florida.” Trials that have been in effect since 2018 have shown a “19 to 25 percent increase of fresh fruit value on treated trees and an overall 33 percent increase in yield.”

“Plants make their own peptides. They use peptides for hormonal signaling to different stresses such as temperature, drought and micronutrient deficiencies. They use peptides to signal within themselves that they have these deficiencies. So, peptides are already having an effect, but you can add other peptides to augment or accelerate some of these responses in the field,” Thompson said in the article.

The peptide trigger’s the plant’s own immune system. “I like to think of these immune-activating peptides as the plant’s early-defense warning system. The plant is always on the lookout for bacterial and fungal pathogens that might attack it. The earlier that it can detect that a pathogen or disease is coming, the better that plant can prepare itself to fight off that particular disease,” Thompson said in the article.

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