Taicia Fill


Chemist Taicia Pacheco Fill researches one of the most dangerous diseases for citrus fruits: greening. These fruits are an essential part of Brazilian agricultural production, and, therefore, their research is at the epicentre of a fundamental economic issue. Graduated in chemistry from the Federal University of São Carlos, Fill also completed her master’s and doctorate in organic chemistry at the São Paulo institution. The doctorate included a sandwich period at the University of Cambridge, England. In addition to her postdoctoral studies at UFSCAR, she completed her postdoctoral studies at the Hans-Knöll Institute in Germany. In 2019, she won the For Women in Science award granted by the L’Oréal-UNESCO-ABC partnership. The following year, she returned to Hans-Knöll as a visiting professor.

A Corinthian at heart, the chemist also likes to unwind by dancing, watching criminal investigation films and looking for a good Japanese food restaurant. He is currently a professor at the Chemistry Institute of the State University of Campinas.


What are the molecular bases of fungus-plant symbiotic associations?
Science / Chemistry

Complex microbial communities colonize plants. Some microorganisms take on pathogenic characteristics and can lead to diseases, while others promote beneficial associations with the host plant and contribute to its growth and even defense against predators. The strategies molecular structures used by pathogens are well established. However, the chemical mechanisms involved in symbiotic associations are unknown. Our hypothesis suggests that microorganisms can use molecular elements from plants, used as a defense to build their molecules and circumvent the host defenses. In this way, it establishes itself asymptomatically. Understanding the complex mechanisms of nature is the first step towards developing safe strategies to protect plants against microbial diseases, contributing positively to our agriculture.

Reviving Brazilian Citrus: A Strategy to Neutralize the Greening Threat”
Science / Chemistry

Brazil, as the world’s leading producer of citrus fruit and the top exporter of orange juice, heavily relies on citrus farming for its economy. Currently, the primary concern in citrus farming is the disease known as greening, caused by a bacterium. This disease, deemed the most destructive in history, remains incurable, and to date, no efficient and safe control strategies have been established. A significant challenge related to this disease is the inability to cultivate the bacterium in a laboratory setting. In our project, we propose two novel methodologies for laboratory cultivation of this bacterium, facilitating a deeper understanding of the disease. Our proposal also proposes a hypothesis regarding the bacterial strategy employed to infect the plant. We propose a swift and safe control alternative to neutralize this threat based on this hypothesis. These measures aim to safeguard our orchards and enable the Brazilian citrus crop to reach its maximum yield.

Amount invested

R$ 100,000.00
R$ 10,000.00 (maternity grant)

Open Calls

Chamada 3
Chamada 6
  • Topics
  • Bacteria
  • Citrus
  • Greening