‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ is the bacterium associated with the citrus disease known as huanglongbing (HLB). This study evaluated the influence of ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ infection on a number of key plant physiological variables concerning photosynthesis, cell integrity, reactive oxygen species scavengers’ activity, and osmoregulation of two different species of citrus—the pomelo Citrus maxima and the mandarin C. reticulata ‘Tankan’—relative to their measured ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ infection load. Results indicated that all measured physiological variables except soluble sugar were affected by increased ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ infection titers, wherein the variety C. maxima proved overall more resistant than C. reticulata. ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ infection was linked in both plants to decrease in chlorophyll concentration, cell membrane permeability, and malondialdehyde, as well as increased free proline and starch contents. Chlorophyll fluorescence measurements taken 9 months after grafting the mandarin C. reticulata with ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ scions revealed a significant decrease in the photosynthesis variables maximum photochemical quantum yield of photosystem II (PSII), effective photochemical quantum yield of PSII, and coefficient of photochemical fluorescence quenching assuming interconnected PSII antennae, whereas nonphotochemical fluorescence quenching increased significantly; C. maxima plants, on the other hand, did not show significant differences until the 12th month from infection exposure. The variables superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase, and soluble protein initially increased and later decreased. In addition, progression of ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ replication in both citrus species was accompanied by rapid changes in three reactive oxygen species scavenging enzymes in C. maxima, while the pattern was different in C. reticulata. We hypothesize that the observed interspecific differences in physiological change are related to their relative resistance against ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ infection. These results provide a scaffold for better describing the pathogenesis, selecting the most resistant breeds, or even validating pertaining omics research; ultimately, these detailed observations can facilitate the diagnosis of ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ infection.
Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (D. citri) is an insect vector of phloem-limited ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiatus’ (CLas), the presumed pathogen of citrus Huanglongbing (HLB). Recently, our lab has preliminarily found it acquired and transmitted Citrus tristeza virus (CTV), which was previously suggested to be vectored by species of aphids. However, the influences of one of the pathogens on the acquisition and transmission efficiency of the other pathogen remain unknown. In this study, CLas and CTV acquisition and transmission by D. citri at different development stages under field and laboratory conditions were determined. CTV could be detected from the nymphs, adults, and honeydew of D. citri but not from the eggs and exuviates of them. CLas in plants might inhibit CTV acquisition by D. citri as lower CTV–positive rates and CTV titers were detected in D. citri collected from HLB-affected trees compared to those from CLas–free trees. D. citri were more likely to obtain CTV than CLas from host plants co-infected with the two pathogens. Intriguingly, CTV in D. citri facilitated the acquisition and transmission of CLas, but CLas carried by D. citri had no significant effect on the transmission of CTV by the same vector. Molecular detection and microscopy methods confirmed the enrichment of CTV in the midgut after a 72-h acquisition access period. Collectively, these results raise essential scientific questions for further research on the molecular mechanism of pathogen transmission by D. citri and provide new ideas for the comprehensive prevention and control of HLB and CTV.
“Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas) is a phloem-restricted α-proteobacterium that is associated with citrus huanglongbing (HLB), which is the most destructive disease that affects all varieties of citrus. Although midrib is usually used as a material for CLas detection, we recently found that the bacterium was enriched in fruits, especially in the fruit pith. However, no study has revealed the molecular basis of these two parts in responding to CLas infection. Therefore, we performed transcriptome and UHPLC–MS-based targeted and untargeted metabolomics analyses in order to organize the essential genes and metabolites that are involved. Transcriptome and metabolome characterized 4834 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and 383 differentially accumulated metabolites (DAMs) between the two materials, wherein 179 DEGs and 44 DAMs were affected by HLB in both of the tissues, involving the pathways of phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, phytohormone signaling transduction, starch and sucrose metabolism, and photosynthesis. Notably, we discovered that the gene expression that is related to beta-glucosidase and endoglucanase was up-regulated in fruits. In addition, defense-related gene expression and metabolite accumulation were significantly down-regulated in infected fruits. Taken together, the decreased amount of jasmonic acid, coupled with the reduced accumulation of phenylpropanoid and the increased proliferation of indole-3-acetic acid, salicylic acid, and abscisic acid, compared to leaf midribs, may contribute largely to the enrichment of CLas in fruit piths, resulting in disorders of photosynthesis and starch and sucrose metabolism.
“Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas) is an unculturable phloem-limited α-proteobacterium associated with citrus Huanglongbing (HLB; yellow shoot disease). HLB is currently threatening citrus production worldwide. Understanding the CLas biology is critical for HLB management. In this study, a novel single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) phage, CLasMV1, was identified in a CLas strain GDHZ11 from Guangdong Province of China through a metagenomic analysis. The CLasMV1 phage had a circular genome of 8,869 bp with eight open reading frames (ORFs). While six ORFs remain uncharacterized, ORF6 encoded a replication initiation protein (RIP), and ORF8 encoded a major capsid protein (MCP). Based on BLASTp search against GenBank database, amino acid sequences of both MCP and RIP shared similarities (coverage &gt; 50% and identity &gt; 25%) to those of phages in Microviridae, an ssDNA phage family. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that CLasMV1 MCP and RIP sequences were clustered with genes from CLas and “Ca. L. solanacearum” (CLso) genomes and formed a unique phylogenetic lineage, designated as a new subfamily Libervirinae, distinct to other members in Microviridae family. No complete integration form but partial sequence (∼1.9 kb) of CLasMV1 was found in the chromosome of strain GDHZ11. Read-mapping analyses on additional 15 HiSeq data sets of CLas strains showed that eight strains harbored complete CLasMV1 sequence with variations in single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and small sequence insertions/deletions (In/Dels). PCR tests using CLasMV1-specific primer sets detected CLasMV1 in 577 out of 1,006 CLas strains (57%) from southern China. This is the first report of Microviridae phage associated with CLas, which expands our understanding of phage diversity in CLas and facilitates current research in HLB.
Huanglongbing, a highly destructive disease of citrus, is associated with the non-culturable phloem-limited α-proteobacterium “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas). The distribution patterns of CLas in infected plant are variable and not consistent, which make the CLas detection and characterization more challenging. Here, we performed a systemic analysis of CLas distribution in citrus branches and fruits of 14 cultivars. A significantly high concentration of CLas was detected in fruit pith (dorsal vascular bundle) of 14 citrus cultivars collected at fruit maturity season. A 2-year monitoring assay of CLas population in citrus branches of “Shatangju” mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco “Shatangju”) revealed that CLas population already exhibited a high level even before the appearance of visual symptoms in the fruit rind. Quantitative analyses of CLas in serial 1.5-cm segments of fruit piths showed the CLas was unevenly distributed within fruit pith and tended to colonize in the middle or distal (stylar end) regions of pith. The use of CLas-abundant fruit pith for dual RNA-seq generated higher-resolution CLas transcriptome data compared with the leaf samples. CLas genes involved in transport system, flagellar assembly, lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis, virulence, stress response, and cell surface structure, as well as host genes involved in biosynthesis of antimicrobial-associated secondary metabolites, was up-regulated in leaf midribs compared with fruit pith. In addition, CLas infection caused the severe collapse in phloem and callose deposition in the plasmodesmata of fruit pith. The ability of fruit pith to support multiplication of CLas to high levels makes it an ideal host tissue for morphological studies and in planta transcriptome analyses of CLas–host interactions.
The draft genome sequence of “
Liberibacter asiaticus” strain YNJS7C, isolated from a navel orange tree in Yunnan Province, China, is presented here. The YNJS7C strain has a genome size of 1,258,986 bp, with a G+C content of 36.6%, 1,174 predicted open reading frames, and 53 RNA genes.