1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
To identify novel compounds that can be used for controlling the Asian citrus psyllid.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Synthesize and provide combinatorial libraries that will be used by USDA ARS U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory researchers in psyllid artificial diet bioassays.
3. Progress Report
This project is related to Objective 3b: Develop novel control methods based on disrupting key processes in pest biology. Combinatorial peptide libraries composed of 10 amino acid residues were synthesized and provided to the ARS researchers for testing against the Asian citrus psyllid. Testing was performed to identify peptides that would have activity (either increasing psyllid mortality or altering psyllid feeding behavior) that could be used as a new control strategy. These libraries were constructed using a proprietary method that allows screening of millions of peptide combinations in just a few hundred assays. A small pool of single peptide libraries was provided for initial toxicity studies by the ARS researchers. Once that was completed, the combinatorial libraries were constructed. Quarterly meetings were held among Agricultural Research Service researchers and Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies researchers either at the Torrey Pines Institute or at U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory facilities. Progress was monitored through frequent updates and research discussions by phone conference or email exchanges.