In Saudi Arabia (SA), the citrus greening disease is caused by ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas) transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) Diaphorina citri. The origin and route(s) of the ACP-CLas pathosystem invasion in SA have not been studied. Adult ACP were collected from citrus trees in SA and differentiated by analysis of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (mtCOI) and nuclear copper transporting protein (atox1) genes. A phylogenetic analysis of the Wolbachia spp. surface protein (wsp) gene was used to identify the ACP-associated Wolbachia spp. A phylogenetic analysis of the atox1 and mtCOI gene sequences revealed one predominant ACP haplotype most closely related to the Indian subcontinent founder populations. The detection and identification of CLas in citrus trees were carried out by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and sequencing of the 16S rDNA gene. The CLas-integrated prophage genomes were sequenced, annotated, and used to differentiate CLas populations. The ML and ASTRAL trees reconstructed with prophages type 1 and 2 genome sequences, separately and concatenated, resolved two major lineages, CLas-1 and -2. The CLas-1 clade, reported here for the first time, consisted of isolates from SA isolates and Pakistan. The CLas-2 sequences formed two groups, CLas-2-1 and -2-2, previously the ‘Asiatic’ and ‘Floridian’ strains, respectively. Members of CLas-2-1 originated from Southeast Asia, the USA, and other worldwide locations, while CLas-2-2 was identified only in Florida. This study provides the first snapshot into the status of the ACP-CLas pathosystem in SA. In addition, the results provide new insights into the pathosystem coevolution and global invasion histories of two ACP-CLas lineages with a predicted center of origin in South and Southeast Asia, respectively.
Plant pathogenic bacteria interact with their insect host(s)/vector(s) at the cellular and molecular levels. This interaction may alter the physiology of their insect vector, which may also promote the growth and transmission of the bacterium. Here we studied the effect of “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (“Ca. L. asiaticus”) on physiochemical conditions within its insect vector, the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), and whether these changes were beneficial for the pathogen. The local microenvironments inside ACPs were quantified using microelectrodes. The average hemolymph pH was significantly higher in infected ACPs (8.13 ± 0.21) than in “Ca. L. asiaticus”-free ACPs (7.29 ± 0.15). The average hemolymph oxygen tension was higher in “Ca. L. asiaticus”-free ACPs than in infected ACPs (67.13% ± 2.11% vs. 35.61% ± 1.26%). Oxygen tension reduction and pH increase were accompanied by “Ca. L. asiaticus” infection. Thus, oxygen tension of the hemolymph is an indicator of infection status, with pH affected by the severity of the infection.