New Citrus Treatment Being Tested


Photo by Susan Jacobson, Orlando Sentinel

By: Susan Jacobson, Orlando Sentinel

Swadeshmukul Santra, Ph.D., an associate professor of chemistry who works in UCF’s NanoScience Technology Center, invented a zinc-based liquid that is being considered as a treatment for deadly citrus greening.

Santra invented Zinkicide in 2013. The bactericide, composed of zinc and undisclosed other ingredients, is being sprayed on citrus trees in St. Lucie County and at the University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center in Polk County.

“It’s a 100-year-old disease,” Santra said. “Nobody knows hot to cultivate it in a lab, and there’s no cure available to growers yet.”

The experiment is scheduled to run for five years, but Santra said scientists should have an idea of whether it works in about two years.

UCF researchers have developed a process for producing a batch of Zinkicide in about six hours.

Florida has a $10.8 billion citrus industry.

The original story is available here.

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