Insect as the Target
A federal NIFA-CAPS grant was awarded to researchers in Florida, California, Texas and Arizona to develop a ‘Nupsyllid’. The goal of this research is to replace the wild type Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) insect vector with a population that is unable to transmit CLas. The genetic transformation could be delivered to the psyllid directly as a sprayable or an injection or indirectly via a virus or an endosymbiont that inhabits the psyllid. The genetic transformation lowers the ability of bacterium to survive in the psyllid or reduces the health and development of the psyllid offspring when the nupsyllid and wild ACP mate and reproduce.
There are three research approaches that are being studied within the nupsyllid project:
The Symbiont Wolbachia