The hypervariable genomic regions derived from 35 published
Las genomes were used to decipher the genetic diversity of
Las strains and identify 10 new strains with high variations in prophage regions. Characterizing these variations in the
Las bacteria might provide insight into their evolution and adaptation to host plants and insects in China.
The citrus industry has been threatened by Huanglongbing (HLB) for over a century. Here, an HLB-induced Arabidopsis RPM1-interacting protein 4 (RIN4) homologous gene was cloned from Citrus clementina, and its characteristics and function were analyzed to determine its role during citrus–Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) interactions. Quantitative real-time PCR showed that RIN4 was expressed in roots, stems, leaves and flowers, with the greatest expression level in leaves. Its expression was suppressed by gibberellic acid, indole-3-acetic acid, salicylic acid and jasmonic acid treatments, but was induced by abscisic acid and salt treatments, as well as wounding. The transient expression of a RIN4-GFP showed that RIN4 was localized in the cell membrane. RIN4-overexpressing transgenic C. maxima cv. ‘Shatianyou’ plants were obtained, and some transgenic plants showed greater sensitivity to CLas infection and earlier HLB symptoms appearance than non-transgenic controls. Results obtained in this study indicated that the upregulated expression of RIN4 in HLB diseased citrus may aid CLas infection.
Huanglongbing (HLB; greening disease), caused by Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), is the most damaging citrus disease worldwide. The disease has spread throughout the citrus-producing regions of Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian, and others in China. A total of 1,789 HLB-like symptomatic or asymptomatic samples were collected from the Guangxi and Fujian provinces of China to decipher the genetic diversity of CLas and its correlation with pathogenicity and host range. The disease was the most severe in orange and the least in pomelo. CLas bacteria associated with the specific geographical and citrus variety infected more than 50% of the HLB-like symptomatic samples. We identified a total of 6,286 minor variations by comparing 35 published CLas genomes and observed a highly heterogeneous variation distribution across the genome. Highly diverse regions, including two prophages, were generally more unstable and prone to lose. In the collected CLas strains, four highly diverse non-prophage segments and three prophage segments in the prophage region were chosen for PCR amplification and genotyping. Four hypervariable regions were used to decipher CLas diversity. A total of 100 strains were divided into four groups, of which 90 strains were clustered into two clades with 15 reported reference genomes, while 10 were grouped in two clades separately from the reported genomes. This study provides insight into the molecular characteristics and genetic variations of different CLas strains in China and might help develop HLB prevention and control strategies.