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A groundbreaking study recently conducted by renowned Brazilian agro-science has resulted in a formula for the effective management of citrus greening, a disease that has severely affected citriculture in Brazil and worldwide for a long time. It was in the laboratories of the Citrus Center of the Agronomic Institute of Campinas (IAC), located in Cordeirópolis/SP, where biologist and researcher Dr. Simone Cristina Picchi, founder of the startup CiaCamp, from Araras/SP, found technical support and a shared space at IAC to grow and develop more rapidly and collaboratively. The research culminated in an unprecedented product, marketed as a fertilizer. CiaCamp was the first startup of IAC, aiming to transfer the technology developed at the Institute to the agro sector.

The study at IAC, under the leadership of researcher Alessandra Alves de Souza, resulted in the use of the well-known active principle, which proved to be more effective: N-acetylcysteine (NAC) – a substance used both as an expectorant and as a dietary supplement for humans, being an efficient antioxidant. Dr. Simone Cristina Picchi, who was part of the IAC research group on understanding the pathogenicity mechanisms of the bacteria Xylella fastidiosa and Xanthomonas citri, reports on the action of the NAC molecule in neutralizing the bacterial colonies causing citrus canker and citrus variegated chlorosis.

The first NAC experiments in agriculture were carried out for the management of citrus canker and citrus variegated chlorosis in São Paulo orchards, whose results “were too encouraging, performed at an advanced stage of the disease,” states Dr. Simone, adding that the work team, led by IAC researcher Dr. Helvécio Della Coletta-Filho, observed a reduction in the incidence of citrus variegated chlorosis, leading to an increase in productivity – in quantity and diameter of the fruits – including in healthy orange trees. These positive results encouraged biologist Simone to dedicate herself and accelerate the development of formulations for the management of greening, which also brought high benefits to the disease management process, according to Simone.

The success of NAC led CiaCamp to obtain, through exclusive licensing, the rights to introduce the NAC technology, patented by IAC (PI 1101176-9 [Brazil] of 07/17/2018, PCT/BR2021/050257 [global]) in agriculture. For this, the startup partnered with Amazon AgroSciences, from São Carlos/SP, to produce and market NAC as a fertilizer under the GRANBLACK brand, already available on the market since September 2019.

Although the initial focus of the company was the management of greening, the technology being so revolutionary allowed the development of products for the management of Citrus Canker and for the management of corn stunt disease. Other crops – such as fruit trees, grapes, and vegetables – are also receiving successful applications of fertilizers developed by the partnership between CiaCamp and Amazon AgroSciences.

How It Works

In the form of liquid fertilizer, applied to the soil or leaves, the active principle is delivered to the callosities, enabling the product to function as a “de-clogger” for the plant, allowing it to unblock the vessels and, at the same time, fully absorb nutrients and return to its healthy development cycle. In addition to aiding in greening management, the fertilizer can prevent other environmental aggressions, such as heat, ultraviolet radiation, and water stress, due to its antioxidant action.

As a sustainable product, it avoids the generation of waste and its environmental impacts. It can also be applied in association with traditional pesticides currently used. The technology enables a significant reduction in the severity of greening. “It is not a remedy, but rather, a supplement for plants that does not harm the soil, leaves, and fruits. NAC in agriculture is an innovative solution that is already radically benefiting the national and global citriculture sector. It’s another win for Brazilian agronomic science,” celebrates Dr. Alessandra Alves de Souza.

The Numbers of Greening in Brazil

Combating the strong presence of diseases in national citriculture is fundamental for the producer, the industry, and the country’s economy. In Brazil, greening affects 38.06% of the estimated more than 200 million orange and other citrus trees cultivated in the main producing regions – São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Paraná.

Present in the U.S.A.

On March 27th at 1:30 PM, during the IRCHLB event, researcher Simone Picchi from the startup CiaCamp will present the latest results of GRANBLACK, an innovative solution for managing HLB (greening).

About the event:

For more information about GRANBLACK, visit: