1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop Asian citrus psyllid control strategy based on inhibition of crucial psyllid feeding processes used to locate the phloem tissue.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Use artificial diet for the Asian citrus psyllid (AsCP) to study molecular mechanism of highly specialized feeding process of the AsCP. Analysis will be through protein and genomic studies targeting the salivary glands and secreted salivary proteins. Use artificial diets to screen for chemicals/transgenic strategies that will inhibit the AsCP ability to form salivary sheaths that are needed for successful phloem feeding.
3. Progress Report
This project is related to Objective 3b: Develop novel control methods based on disrupting key processes in pest biology. Artificial diets were developed and optimized for testing against combinatorial peptide libraries provided through a collaboration with Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies (TPIMS). The goal is to find peptides with biological activity against the Asian citrus psyllid that could be used in novel control strategies. Initially, single peptide preparations provided by TPIMS were obtained and methods for preparing these peptides for addition to the artificial diet were developed. This required the development and testing of a desalting method that could be used on hundreds of library samples. Once this method was developed combinatorial libraries were received from TPIMS and they were desalted and used for artificial diet testing. These diet tests are currently in progress.