SBIR Phase I:Novel attractants for the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will provide better attractants for the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri. D. citri vectors citrus greening disease and is thus the most serious pest faced by the US citrus industry. The pest already has severely affected Florida citrus production, has entered Texas, and is spreading into California, yet no accurate means of assessing population densities or range exist due to a lack of effective attractants for use in bait stations and traps. The approach described uses rational design to isolate compounds that bind to critical psyllid chemosensory proteins, and then identifies those compounds capable of attracting psyllids. This project incorporates several novel platform technologies comprising a high-throughput assay system for rapidly identifying molecules that interact with insect chemosensory proteins.
The broader impact/commercial potential of this project are platform technologies applicable to the development of control products for insect pest species of economic, agricultural, or medicinal significance. No psyllid attractant currently exists; traps used for psyllids rely solely on color and are ineffective in gathering reliable population density or range data. A trap utilizing an effective attractant would benefit the citrus industry since it would yield data useful in monitoring the psyllid and in generating control strategies. Key market players include the current manufacturers of colored sticky traps; however, the attractant proposed could be incorporated into these traps, creating a highly effective end product with a very high market demand. Citrus growers have already expressed their keen interest in purchasing such a product.
Small Business Information at Submission:
17905 Sky Park Circle STE P STE PIrvine, CA 92614
Number of Employees: