‘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.
Prophages, the lysogenic form of bacterial phages, are important genetic entities of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas), a nonculturable α-proteobacterium associated with citrus Huanglongbing. Two CLas prophages have been described, SC1 (NC_019549.1, Type 1) and SC2 (NC_019550.1, Type 2), which involve the lytic cycle and the lysogenic cycle, respectively. To explore the prophage repertoire, 523 CLas DNA samples extracted from leaf petioles of CLas-infected citrus were collected from southern China and surveyed for Type 1 and Type 2 prophages by specific PCR. Eighteen samples were found lacking both prophages. One sample, JXGC, sequenced using Illumina HiSeq, generated >100 million short sequence reads (150 bp per read). Read mapping to known prophage sequences showed a sequence coverage of 46% to SC1 and 50% to SC2. BLAST search using SC1 and SC2 as queries identified three contigs from the JXGC de novo assembly that form a circular P-JXGC-3 (31,449 bp), designated as a new Type 3 prophage. Chromosomal integration of P-JXGC-3 was detected to occur within a helicase gene, resulting in a duplication of this gene. P-JXGC-3 had 36 open reading frames (ORFs), 10 of which were not found in Type 1 or Type 2 prophages, including four genes that encoded a restriction-modification (R-M) system (hsdR, hsdS, hsdM1, and hsdM2). Typed by prophage-specific PCR, the CLas strains in southern China contained all combinations of the three prophage types with the exception of a Type 2−Type 3 combination, suggesting active ongoing prophage−phage interactions. Based on gene annotation, P-JXGC-3 is not capable of reproduction via the lytic cycle. The R-M system was speculated to play a role against Type 1 prophage−phage invasion.
We report here the draft genome sequence of “
Liberibacter asiaticus” strain TX2351, collected from Asian citrus psyllids in south Texas, USA. The TX2351 genome has a size of 1,252,043 bp, a G+C content of 36.5%, 1,184 predicted open reading frames, and 52 RNA genes.