ISSN / EISSN : 0031-949X / 0031-949X
Published by: Scientific Societies (10.1094)
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Huanglongbing (HLB) is currently the most devastating disease of citrus worldwide. Both bacteria ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas) and ‘Ca. Liberibacter americanus’ (CLam) are associated with HLB in Brazil, but with a strong prevalence of CLas over CLam. Conventionally, HLB management focuses on controlling the insect vector population (Diaphorina citri; also known as Asian citrus psyllid – ACP) by spraying insecticides, an approach demonstrated to be mostly ineffective. Thus, development of novel more efficient HLB control strategies is required. The multifunctional bacterial outer membrane protein OmpA is involved in several molecular processes between bacteria and their hosts and has been suggested as a target for bacterial control. Curiously, OmpA is absent in CLam in comparison to CLas, suggesting a possible role on host-interaction. Therefore, in the current study, we have treated ACPs with different OmpA-derived peptides aiming to evaluate the acquisition of CLas by the insect vector. Treatment of psyllids with 5 µM of Pep1, Pep3, Pep5 and Pep6 in artificial diet significantly reduced the acquisition of CLas, while increasing the concentration of Pep5 and Pep6 to 50 µM abolished this process. In addition, in planta treatment with 50 µM of Pep6 also significantly decreased the acquisition of CLas and sweet orange plants stably absorbed and maintained this peptide for as long as three months post the final application. Together, our results demonstrate the promising use of OmpA-derived peptides as a novel biotechnological tool to control CLas.
‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (Las) is the prominent species of Liberibacter associated with huanglongbing, a devastating disease of citrus worldwide. In this study, we report the identification of an ∼8.3-kb DNA region of the Las genome containing eight putative open reading frames flanked by two inverted repeats, which was not present in the Las str. psy62 genome. Comparisons with other genome sequences established this region as a unique genetic element associated with genome plasticity/instability. Primers specific for both the presence (Las wild type) and absence (Las mutant) of this region were designed to study the population dynamics and host adaptation of the two strains. Las populations with and/or without the wild-type strain were detected and differentiated in >2,300 samples that included psyllids, periwinkle, and several species of citrus. In psyllids, although a mixed population of the wild type and mutant was observed in most samples (88%), the wild-type Las was detected alone at a rate of 11%. In contrast, none of the infected citrus plants were positive for the wild type alone, which harbored either the mutant strain alone (8%) or a mixed population of the mutant and wild type (92%). Furthermore, the dynamics of these two major Las populations varied with different citrus hosts, whereas an in-depth study on grapefruit that did not rapidly succumb to disease revealed that the population of mutant alone increased with time, indicating that the absence of this genetic element is associated with the fitness of Las in planta under the selection pressure of its host.
The Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) is a pest of citrus and the primary insect vector of the bacterial pathogen, ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas), which is associated with citrus greening disease. The citrus relative Murraya paniculata (orange jasmine) is a host plant of D. citri but is more resistant to CLas compared with all tested Citrus genotypes. The effect of host switching of D. citri between Citrus medica (citron) and M. paniculata plants on the acquisition and transmission of CLas was investigated. The psyllid CLas titer and the proportion of CLas-infected psyllids decreased in the generations after transfer from CLas-infected citron to healthy M. paniculata plants. Furthermore, after several generations of feeding on M. paniculata, pathogen acquisition (20 to 40% reduction) and transmission rates (15 to 20% reduction) in psyllids transferred to CLas-infected citron were reduced compared with psyllids continually maintained on infected citron. Top-down (difference gel electrophoresis) and bottom-up (shotgun MS/MS) proteomics methods were used to identify changes in D. citri protein expression resulting from host plant switching between Citrus macrophylla and M. paniculata. Changes in expression of insect metabolism, immunity, and cytoskeleton proteins were associated with host plant switching. Both transient and sustained feeding on M. paniculata induced distinct patterns of protein expression in D. citri compared with psyllids reared on C. macrophylla. The results point to complex interactions that affect vector competence and may lead to strategies to control the spread of citrus greening disease.
Citrus greening, or Huanglongbing (HLB), currently is the most destructive disease of citrus. HLB disease is putatively caused by the phloem-restricted α-proteobacterium, ‛Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’. This bacterium is primarily transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae). Most animal pathogens are considered pathogenic to their insect vectors, whereas the relationships between plant pathogens and their insect vectors are variable. Lately, the relationship of ‛Ca. L. asiaticus’ with its insect vector, D. citri was well investigated at the molecular, biochemical, and biological levels in many studies. Herein, the findings concerning this relationship are discussed and molecular features of the acquisition of ‛Ca. L. asiaticus’ from the plant host and its growth and circulation within D. citri, as well as its transmission to plants, are presented. In addition, the effects of ‛Ca. L. asiaticus’ on the energy metabolism (respiration, TCA cycle, the ATP production), metabolic pathways, immune system, endosymbionts, and detoxification enzymes of D. citri are discussed together with other impacts such as shorter lifespan, altered feeding behavior, and higher fecundity. Overall, although ‛Ca. L. asiaticus’ has significant negative effects on its insect vector, it increases its vector fitness, indicating that it develops a mutualistic relationship with its vector. This review will help in understanding the specific interactions between ‛Ca. L. asiaticus’ and its psyllid vector in order to design innovative management strategies.
Candidatus Liberibacter spp. are fastidious α-proteobacteria that cause multiple diseases on plant hosts of economic importance, including the most devastating citrus disease: Huanglongbing (HLB). HLB was reported in Asia a century ago but has since spread worldwide. Understanding the pathogenesis of Candidatus Liberibacter spp. remains challenging as they are yet to be cultured in artificial media and infect the phloem, a sophisticated environment that is difficult to manipulate. Despite those challenges, tremendous progress has been made on Ca. Liberibacter pathosystems. Here, we first reviewed recent studies on genetic information of flagellar and type IV pili biosynthesis, their expression profiles, and movement of Ca. Liberibacter spp. inside the plant and insect hosts. Next, we reviewed the transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic studies of susceptible and tolerant plant genotypes to Ca. Liberibacter spp. infection and how Ca. Liberibacter spp. adapt in plants. Analyses of the interactions between plants and Ca. Liberibacter spp. imply the involvement of immune response in the Ca. Liberibacter pathosystems. Lastly, we reviewed how Ca. Liberibacter spp. movement inside and interactions with plants lead to symptom development.
‘Candidatus’ Liberibacter asiaticus is associated with the devastating citrus disease Huanglongbing. It is transmitted by grafting infected material to healthy plants and by the feeding of the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri). Previously, we demonstrated that a metabolomics approach using proton-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy discriminates healthy from diseased plants via grafting. The present work assessed the capability of this technology in discriminating healthy and diseased plants when the bacterium is vectored by psyllids. One-year old greenhouse-grown ‘Lisbon’ lemon trees were exposed to either carrier psyllids (Exposed, n = 10), or psyllids that were free of Liberibacter asiaticus (Control, n = 6). Leaf metabolites were tracked for 1 year and disease diagnosis was made using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Overall, 31 water-soluble metabolites were quantified in leaves, including 4 sugars and 12 amino acids. Analysis via non-metric multidimensional scaling and principal components analysis revealed significant differences between the leaf metabolome of Control vs. infected trees beginning at 8 weeks post-exposure, including alterations in glucose and quinic acid concentrations. These findings provide a longitudinal overview of the metabolic effects of HLB during the early phases of disease, and confirm previous experimental work demonstrating that infection elicits changes in the leaf metabolome that enables discrimination between healthy and infected plants. Here we demonstrate that the mode of inoculation (i.e. graft- vs. psyllid-) results in a similar pathology.
Huanglongbing (HLB), formerly known as greening, is a bacterial disease restricted to some Asian and African regions until two decades ago. Nowadays, associated bacteria and their vectors have spread to almost all citrus-producing regions, and it is currently considered the most devastating citrus disease. HLB management can be approached in terms of prevention, limiting or avoiding pathogen and associated vectors to reach an area, or in terms of control, trying to reduce the impact of the disease by adopting different cultural strategies depending on infestation/infection levels. In both cases, control of psyllid populations is currently the best way to stop HLB spread. Best cultural actions (CHMAs, TPS system) to attain this goal and, thus, able to limit HLB spread, and ongoing research in this regard is summarized in this review.
‘Candidatus Liberibacter’ species are associated with severe, economically important diseases. Nearly all known species are putatively insect transmitted, specifically by psyllids. Detection of ‘Ca. Liberibacter’ in plants is complicated by their uneven distribution in host plants and largely fastidius nature. The death of black (Fraxinus nigra) and mancana (Fraxinus mandshurica) ash trees in Saskatchewan, Canada has been associated with infestation by the cottony ash psyllid (Psyllopsis discrepans). A combination of conventional PCR amplification and Sanger sequencing of the 16S recombinant DNA was used to detect and identify ‘Ca. Liberibacter’ in psyllids collected from ash trees in Saskatchewan. BLAST analysis of two 16S sequences that were 1,058 and 1,085 bp long (NTHA 5, GenBank accession number MK942379 and NTHA 6, GenBank accession number MK937570, respectively) revealed they were 99 to 100% similar to a ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ sequence (GenBank accession number KX197200) isolated from the Nearctic psyllid (Bactericera maculipennis) of U.S. provenance. Sequencing the psyllid genes CO1 and Cyt-b confirmed that the psyllids from which the bacterial DNA was isolated were P. discrepans, based on comparisons with sequences in GenBank and BOLD and a reference sample from the United Kingdom. These results provide the first evidence that ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ species are associated with psyllids collected from ash trees and specifically P. discrepans. The recent episodes of dieback of ash in Saskatchewan associated with psyllid feeding are consistent with disease symptoms caused by ‘Ca. Liberibacter’ pathogens, and this possibility warrants further study.
‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas), the devastating pathogen related to Huanglongbing (HLB), is a phloem-limited, fastidious, insect-borne bacterium. Rapid spread of HLB disease relies on CLas-efficient propagation in the vector, the Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri, in a circulative manner. Understanding the intracellular lifecycle of CLas in psyllid midgut, the major organ for CLas transmission, is fundamental to improving current management strategies. Using a microscopic approach within CLas-infected insect midgut, we observed the entry of CLas into gut cells inside vesicles, termed Liberibacter-containing vacuoles (LCVs), by endocytosis. Endocytosis is followed by the formation of endoplasmic reticulum-related and replication permissive vacuoles (rLCVs). Additionally, we observed the formation of double membrane autophagosome-like structure, termed autophagy-related vacuole (aLCV). Vesicles containing CLas egress from aLCV and fuse with the cell membrane. Immunolocalization studies showed that CLas uses endocytosis- and exocytosis-like mechanisms that mediates bacterial invasion and egress. Upregulation of autophagy-related genes indicated subversion of host autophagy by CLas in psyllid vector to promote infection. These results indicate that CLas interacts with host cellular machineries to undergo a multistage intracellular cycle through endocytic, secretory, autophagic, and exocytic pathways via complex machineries. Potential tactics for HLB control can be made depending on further investigations on the knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of CLas intracellular cycle.
Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening disease, has significantly decreased citrus production all over the world. The disease management currently depends on the efficient application and adequate distribution of insecticides to reduce the density of the disease vector, the Asian citrus psyllid. Here, we use a novel fluorescent-based method to evaluate insecticide distribution in an HLB-infected citrus grove in Florida. Specifically, we evaluated six different locations within citrus trees, the top and bottom sides of leaves, the effect of application approach (tractor versus airplane), and different application rates. We found that despite the insecticide distribution being highly variable among the different locations within a tree, the top of the leaves received an average increase of 21 times more than the bottom of the leaves. Application by tractor also resulted in a 4- to 87-fold increase in insecticide coverage compared with aerial application, depending on the location in the tree and side of the leaf. When taken to context with the type of insecticide that is applied (systemic vs. contact), these results can be used to optimize a pest management strategy to effectively target psyllids and other pests while minimizing the time and money spent on insecticide application and reducing risk to the environment.