Disease caused by the bacterial pathogen “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum” (Lso) represents a serious threat to solanaceous crop production. Insecticide applications to control the psyllid vector, Bactericera cockerelli Šulc (Hemiptera: Triozidae) has led to the emergence of resistance in psyllids populations. Efforts to select natural resistant cultivars have been marginally successful and have been complicated by the presence of distinct Lso haplotypes (LsoA, LsoB) differing in symptoms severity on potato and tomato. A potentially promising management tool is to boost host resistance to the pathogen and/or the insect vector by promoting mycorrhization. Here we tested the hypothesis that mycorrhizal fungi can mitigate the effect of Lso infection on tomato plants. The presence of mycorrhizal fungi substantially delayed and reduced the incidence of Lso-induced symptoms on tomato as compared to non-mycorrhized plants. However, PCR with specific Lso primers revealed that mycorrhization did not prevent Lso transmission or translocation to newly formed leaves. Mycorrhization significantly reduced oviposition by psyllids harboring LsoA and survival of nymphs from these eggs. However, mycorrhization had no effect on oviposition by psyllids harboring LsoB or the survival of nymphs from parents harboring LsoB. These findings indicate the use of mycorrhizal fungi is a promising strategy for the mitigation of disease caused by both LsoA and LsoB and warrants additional field testing.
“Candidatus Liberibacter” species are associated with economically devastating diseases of citrus, potato, and many other crops. The importance of these diseases as well as the proliferation of new diseases on a wider host range is likely to increase as the insects vectoring the “Ca. Liberibacter” species expand their territories worldwide. Here, we review the progress on understanding pathogenesis mechanisms of “Ca. Liberibacter” species and the control approaches for diseases they cause. We discuss the Liberibacter virulence traits, including secretion systems, putative effectors, and lipopolysaccharides (LPSs), as well as other important traits likely to contribute to disease development, e.g., flagella, prophages, and salicylic acid hydroxylase. The pathogenesis mechanisms of Liberibacters are discussed. Liberibacters secrete Sec-dependent effectors (SDEs) or other virulence factors into the phloem elements or companion cells to interfere with host targets (e.g., proteins or genes), which cause cell death, necrosis, or other phenotypes of phloem elements or companion cells, leading to localized cell responses and systemic malfunction of phloem. Receptors on the remaining organelles in the phloem, such as plastid, vacuole, mitochondrion, or endoplasmic reticulum, interact with secreted SDEs and/or other virulence factors secreted or located on the Liberibacter outer membrane to trigger cell responses. Some of the host genes or proteins targeted by SDEs or other virulence factors of Liberibacters serve as susceptibility genes that facilitate compatibility (e.g., promoting pathogen growth or suppressing immune responses) or disease development. In addition, Liberibacters trigger plant immunity response via pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs, such as lipopolysaccharides), which leads to premature cell death, callose deposition, or phloem protein accumulation, causing a localized response and/or systemic effect on phloem transportation. Physical presence of Liberibacters and their metabolic activities may disturb the function of phloem, via disrupting osmotic gradients, or the integrity of phloem conductivity. We also review disease management strategies, including promising new technologies. Citrus production in the presence of Huanglongbing is possible if the most promising management approaches are integrated. HLB management is discussed in the context of local, area-wide, and regional Huanglongbing/Asian Citrus Psyllid epidemiological zones. For zebra chip disease control, aggressive psyllid management enables potato production, although insecticide resistance is becoming an issue. Meanwhile, new technologies such as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-derived genome editing provide an unprecedented opportunity to provide long-term solutions.
As polyphagous, holometabolous insects, tephritid fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) provide a unique habitat for endosymbiotic bacteria, especially those microbes associated with the digestive system. Here we examine the endosymbiont of the olive fly [
(Rossi) (Diptera: Tephritidae)], a tephritid of great economic importance. “
Erwinia dacicola” was found in the digestive systems of all life stages of wild olive flies from the southwestern United States. PCR and microscopy demonstrated that “
Erwinia dacicola” resided intracellularly in the gastric ceca of the larval midgut but extracellularly in the lumen of the foregut and ovipositor diverticulum of adult flies. “
Erwinia dacicola” is one of the few nonpathogenic endosymbionts that transitions between intracellular and extracellular lifestyles during specific stages of the host's life cycle. Another unique feature of the olive fly endosymbiont is that unlike obligate endosymbionts of monophagous insects, “
Erwinia dacicola” has a G+C nucleotide composition similar to those of closely related plant-pathogenic and free-living bacteria. These two characteristics of “
Erwinia dacicola,” the ability to transition between intracellular and extracellular lifestyles and a G+C nucleotide composition similar to those of free-living relatives, may facilitate survival in a changing environment during the development of a polyphagous, holometabolous host. We propose that insect-bacterial symbioses should be classified based on the environment that the host provides to the endosymbiont (the endosymbiont environment).