Hailing Jin receives $4M USDA grant in effort to stop the spread of citrus-destroying disease

A molecular geneticist at the University of California, Riverside, has secured a four-year grant aimed at halting the spread of a deadly bacterial disease that continues to spread among California’s citrus trees. The award of nearly $4 million, which comes from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will help cure citrus trees affected by huanglongbing disease, or HLB, and protect healthy trees from infection.

The research team led by Hailing Jin, the grant’s principal investigator, aims to achieve this goal by developing therapeutic and preventive solutions using a novel class of citrus-derived antimicrobial “peptides”— naturally occurring chains of amino acids found in all living organisms.

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