Monday, December 5, 2016

USDA and AUM LifeTech develop a novel Non-GMO RNA silencing approach against citrus greening with a goal to save the troubled $40 billion global citrus industry

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- AUM LifeTech in collaboration with the
 United States Department of Agriculture has developed a novel Non-GMO RNA
 silencing approach for bacteria, insect and pathogen control with a focus on citrus
 trees and fruits. Huanglongbing, a fatal bacterial citrus disease, also known as citrus
 greening has already caused an estimated $15 billion loss in revenue to the industry.
 Citrus is the most consumed fruit in the US with an estimated annual $9 billion industry.
These numbers are rapidly changing with losses increasing and industry size decreasing
every year. According to a study funded by USDA it was noted that Florida, which
produces 66% of the total US citrus, saw an almost 60% reduction in citrus production
over the past 15 years. Brazil and China which produces almost twice than the
United States are also struggling with citrus greening.
AUM LifeTech, Inc.
Considering this humongous problem of citrus disease, USDA is actively looking for
 new strategies that can avoid huge losses in agriculture. Researchers at USDA are
 now using AUM's next-generation RNA silencing FANA technology to combat
with the plant pathogenic bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter and citrus pests like
citrus root weevil and Asian citrus psyllid.  Preliminary results showed an increase
in insect mortality and reduction of bacteria within citrus trees.  This is the first
evidence of successful delivery of FANA Antisense Oligonucleotides (FANA ASOs)
into plants through foliar sprays, root absorption and tree trunk injections; and provides
 a new approach for management of agricultural pests and plant pathogens.

"Given the resistance of conventional pesticides, there is an ever-growing need 
for new innovative technologies to protect plants. We are excited to share that,
 in this collaborative study with USDA Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS),
 our next-generation FANA RNA silencing approach has shown very promising
 data in the management of agricultural pests and pathogens due to its ability to
kill or manipulate bacteria, insects or viruses. We hope that our combined efforts
 with USDA can soon help to save billions of dollars of citrus industry," stated
Veenu Aishwarya founder and CEO of AUM LifeTech. "Importantly, although 
AUM's FANA technology works at the genetic level but it does not create
 genetically modified organisms. This is a very beneficial aspect in agriculture
 especially from an EPA registration perspective and may potentially help
 in a faster approval time," he added.

AUM LifeTech's FANA antisense technology provides a superior RNA silencing
 alternative which can provide longer persistence for topical applications in
 non-transgenic plant protection programs. Further, since FANA technology
can be self-delivered it provides significant improvements over conventional
RNAi strategies and certain gene editing technologies like CRISPR which still
need additional delivery strategies and may also have unknown permanent off-target effects.
These encouraging results in collaboration with UDSA suggest that AUM's FANA
 technology has a great potential and can be developed for insect and plant pathogen
 management for a wide spectrum of agricultural crops. The data will be presented
at the upcoming International Plant & Animal Genome XXV conference, in San Diego,
California in January of 2017.
About AUM LifeTech, Inc: At AUM LifeTech we are taking paradigm shifting steps to
 improve sustenance and human life. AUM's next generation RNA silencing and regulation
 technology has multiple applications and is being used in the development of personalized
 medicine, improving agriculture, enhancing clinical diagnostics and to advance biomedical
research. AUM LifeTech is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA at the
 University City Science Center's Port business incubator.
For more information visit:

Contact Information:
AUM LifeTech, Inc 

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