Santra Research Group

Agricultural Biocide

Nanotechnology solutions for combating citrus canker and citrus greening diseases

Cankicide diagram

Citrus canker and citrus greening (also known as Huanglongbing, HLB) are two bacterial diseases currently threatening the multi-billion dollar citrus industry.

Our group has successfully developed a series of novel nanotechnology-enabled Cu formulations for combating citrus canker. By design, these Cu containing nano-formulations exhibit superior antimicrobial properties at low Cu concentrations. Additionally, they also possess strong adherence properties which are desirable to minimize the number of spray applications per season. Our formulations (UCF Cankicide&tm;) have been successfully evaluated in field trials for four consecutive years and currently being evaluated for commercial applications.

There has been a pressing demand for developing environmentally-friendly non-Cu based agricultural biocides. To meet this demand, our group has developed a new formulation that has demonstrated good efficacy in the laboratory as well as in field trials. Further, this non-Cu based formula is specifically designed to fight against both citrus canker and citrus greening diseases.

Funded by

  • Florida Department of Citrus
  • Citrus Research and Development Foundations, Inc.
  • Industry


  • Maniprasad P and Santra S., "Novel copper loaded core-shell silica nanoparticles with improved copper bioavailability: synthesis, characterization and study of antibacterial properties" Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology 2012, 8(4), 558-566.
  • Maniprasad P, Menezes R, Suarez J and Santra, S. , Antimicrobial Properties of Copper and Silver Loaded Silica Nanomaterials. In Nanostructured Materials and Nanotechnology VI, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: pp 55-67, 2012.

Patent awarded

  • US patent # 8,221,791

Swadeshmukul Santra, Ph.D., University of Central Florida  •  Email:  •  Phone: 407-697-2848  •  Fax: 407-882-2819