Zakharov Lab

Volatile defense compounds in Citrus


Orange treeLab members involved in this project: Elenor Castillo

Collaborator: Abhaya Dandekar from the Department of Plant Sciences

Project Summary: Volatile compounds serve as the plant’s interface with the environment, and have been shown to play important roles in plant natural defenses against pests. There is great promise in harnessing a plant’s natural defense mechanisms to control the development of agriculturally important diseases. Elenor’s project, in collaboration with Dr. Abhaya Dandekar (Plant Sciences), focuses on developing disease management strategies for the Citrus Greening Disease (Huanglongbing; HLB) which is currently the most destructive Citrus disease in the US. She will identify key volatile attractants and repellents of the HLB insect vector, the Asian Citrus Psyllid. With this knowledge in hand, Elenor will design appropriate transgenic rootstocks for use as biological barriers or pest trap systems as part of a novel disease management strategy.



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