Last updated: 18/12/2012
Closing date: 30/06/2013
The pathogens causing citrus greening disease, Candidatus Liberibacter, have only recently been genetically characterised. There is an urgent need to produce novel bactericides, based on computational chemistry or other means. A UK speciality chemicals company is seeking novel compounds with a scientific rationale, to jointly progress towards field trials with existing partners in the citrus industry.
Citrus Huanglongbing (greening disease) is one of the most destructive diseases of citrus worldwide and is threatening the survival of the citrus industry in many regions of America, Asia and Africa. Currently, there is no established cure for this century-old and emerging disease. The pathogens now known as Candidatus Liberibacter have proved tolerant to all current products and only certain antibiotics in a combination have worked so far. There are compounds with a moderate effect on the pathogen or its vector but in the current situation these will not suffice.
A lot of research has been dedicated to the issue but mostly outside Europe. A UK speciality chemicals company now hopes to identify novel candidates in Europe initially created for a different purpose.
Since various Liberibacter species have been sequenced in the past three years, there is a chance that computational methods will suggest new candidates. Based on structural similarity, known compounds affecting different bacteria may work.
There are no good in vitro models for the disease. The starting point is good solubility and high sensitivity. The desired bactericide will be waterborne and will enter the citrus plants following soaking of roots.
The pathogens are transmitted by insects called psyllids. Alternatively, treatments known to be effective against psyllids are sought.
The UK company will assist with organising field trials, collaborating with the private and public bodies in the citrus industry. They will handle the sourcing and synthesis of the compounds.
Technical Specifications / Specific technical requirements:
The proposed compounds must come with a scientific rationale, why they would be effective against the species causing the citrus greening disease:
Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus;
Candidatus Liberibacter africanus;
Candidatus Liberibacter americanus.
Partner expertise sought:
- Type of partner sought: academia.
- Specific area of activity of the partner: computational drug screening or other methods capable of suggesting candidates against recently sequenced species.
- Task to be performed by the partner sought: selection of candidates and progression towards field trials.
Listed under: Materials \ Life Sciences \ Agriculture \ Biosciences and Health \ Environment & Protecting Man \ Drug Discovery and Drug Development
Select an option from below to enquire about this opportunity: