“Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas) is an un-culturable α-proteobacterium that caused citrus Huanglongbing (HLB), a destructive disease threatening citrus production worldwide. In China, the presence of HLB was first reported in Chaoshan region of Guangdong province, China around a century ago. Thus, whole genome information of CLas strains from Chaoshan area become the most important resource to understand the population diversity and evaluation of CLas in China.
CLas strain GDCZ was originally from Chaozhou city (Chaoshan area) and sequenced using Pacbio Sequel long-read sequencing and Illumina short-read sequencing. The genome of strain GDCZ comprised of 1,230,507 bp with an average G+C content of 36.4%, along with a circular CLasMV1 phage: CLasMV1_GDCZ (8,869 bp). The CLas strain GDCZ contained a Type 2 prophage (37,452 bp) and encoded a total of 1,057 open reading frames and 53 RNA genes. The whole genome sequence of CLas strain GDCZ from the historical HLB endemic region in China will serve as a useful resource for further analyses of CLas evolution and HLB epidemiology in China and world.
Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB), also called citrus greening disease, is a highly destructive disease threatening citrus production worldwide. “
Liberibacter asiaticus” is one of the most common putative causal agents of HLB. Phages of “
. Liberibacter asiaticus”
Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB), caused by “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas), is the most destructive disease threatening global citrus industry. Most commercial cultivars were susceptible to HLB, although some showed tolerant to HLB phenotypically. Identifying tolerant citrus genotypes and understanding the mechanism correlated with tolerance to HLB is essential for breeding citrus variety tolerance/resistance to HLB. In this study, the graft assay with CLas-infected bud were performed in four citrus genotypes, including Citrus reticulata Blanco, C. sinensis, C. limon, and C. maxima. HLB tolerance was observed in C. limon and C. maxima, while C. Blanco and C. sinensis were susceptible to HLB. The time-course transcriptomic analysis revealed a significant variation in differentially expressed genes (DEGs) related to HLB between susceptible and tolerant cultivar group at early and late infection stage. Functional analysis of DEGs indicated that the activation of genes involved in SA-mediated defense response, PTI, cell wall associated immunity, endochitinase, phenylpropanoid and alpha-linolenic/linoleic lipid metabolism played an important in the tolerance of C. limon and C. maxima to HLB at early infection stage. In addition, the overactive plant defense combined with the stronger antibacterial activity (antibacterial secondary and lipid metabolism) and the suppression of pectinesterase were contributed to the long-term tolerance to HLB in C. limon and C. maxima at late infection stage. Particularly, the activation of ROS scavenging genes (catalases and ascorbate peroxidases) could help to reduce HLB symptoms in tolerant cultivars. In contrast, the overexpression of genes involved in oxidative burst and ethylene metabolism, as well as the late inducing of defense related genes could lead to the early HLB symptom development in susceptible cultivars at early infection stage. The weak defense response and antibacterial secondary metabolism, and the induce of pectinesterase were responsible for sensitivity to HLB in C. reticulata Blanco and C. sinensis at late infection stage. This study provided new insights into the tolerance/sensitivity mechanism against HLB and valuable guidance for breeding of HLB-tolerant/resistant cultivars.
‘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.
BackgroundHuanglongbing (HLB, yellow shoot disease) is a highly destructive citrus disease associated with a nonculturable bacterium, “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas), which is transmitted by Asian citrus psyllid (ACP, Diaphorina citri). In Mexico, HLB was first reported in Tizimin, Yucatán, in 2009 and is now endemic in 351 municipalities of 25 states. Understanding the population diversity of CLas is critical for HLB management. Current CLas diversity research is exclusively based on analysis of the bacterial genome, which composed two regions, chromosome (&gt; 1,000 genes) and prophage (about 40 genes).Methods and resultsIn this study, 40 CLas-infected ACP samples from 20 states in Mexico were collected. CLas was detected and confirmed by PCR assays. A prophage gene(terL)-based typing system (TTS) divided the Mexican CLas strains into two groups: Term-G including four strains from Yucatán and Chiapas, as well as strain psy62 from Florida, USA, and Term-A included all other 36 Mexican strains, as well as strain AHCA1 from California, USA. CLas diversity was further evaluated to include all chromosomal and prophage genes assisted by using machine learning (ML) tools to resolve multidimensional data handling issues. A Term-G strain (YTMX) and a Term-A strain (BCSMX) were sequenced and analyzed. The two Mexican genome sequences along with the CLas genome sequences available in GenBank were studied. An unsupervised ML was implemented through principal component analysis (PCA) on average nucleotide identities (ANIs) of CLas whole genome sequences; And a supervised ML was implemented through sparse partial least squares discriminant analysis (sPLS-DA) on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of coding genes of CLas guided by the TTS. Two CLas Geno-groups, Geno-group 1 that extended Term-A and Geno-group 2 that extended Term-G, were established.ConclusionsThis study concluded that: 1) there were at least two different introductions of CLas into Mexico; 2) CLas strains between Mexico and USA are closely related; and 3) The two Geno-groups provide the basis for future CLas subspecies research.
“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 the causal agent of citrus Huanglongbing (HLB, also called citrus greening disease), a highly destructive disease threatening citrus production worldwide. A novel Microviridae phage (named CLasMV1) has been found to infect CLas, providing a potential therapeutic strategy for CLas/HLB control. However, little is known about the CLasMV1 biology. In this study, we analyzed the population dynamics of CLasMV1 between the insect vector of CLas, the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama) and the holoparasitic dodder plant (Cuscuta campestris Yunck.); both acquired CLasMV1-infected CLas from an HLB citrus. All CLas-positive dodder samples were CLasMV1-positive, whereas only 32% of CLas-positive ACP samples were identified as CLasMV1-positive. Quantitative analyses showed a similar distribution pattern of CLasMV1 phage and CLas among eight citrus cultivars by presenting at highest abundance in the fruit pith and/or the center axis of the fruit. Transcriptome analyses revealed the possible lytic activity of CLasMV1 on CLas in fruit pith as evidenced by high-level expressions of CLasMV1 genes, and CLas genes related to cell wall biogenesis and remodeling to maintain the CLas cell envelope integrity. The up-regulation of CLas genes were involved in restriction–modification system that could involve possible phage resistance for CLas during CLasMV1 infection. In addition, the regulation of CLas genes involved in cell surface components and Sec pathway by CLasMV1 phage could be beneficial for phage infection. This study expanded our knowledge of CLasMV1 phage that will benefit further CLas phage research and HLB control.
Huanglongbing (HLB) is a devastating disease affecting citrus production worldwide. In China, the disease is associated with an unculturable alpha-proteobacterium, “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas). Phages/prophages of CLas have recently been identified through intensive genomic research. The phage information has facilitated research on CLas biology such as population diversity and virulence gene identification. However, little is known about the roles of CLas phages in HLB symptom development. Such research is challenging due to the unculturable nature of CLas and the lack of laboratory strains that carry a single phage. In this study, CLas strains singly carrying Type 1 phage (Type 1 CLas) and Type 2 phage (Type 2 CLas) were identified and maintained in an experimental screenhouse in southern China. The strains were characterized through next-generation sequencing (NGS). Then, each CLas strain was inoculated into seedlings of three different citrus cultivars/species through graft transmission in a screenhouse in Guangdong, China. Symptom developments were recorded. All CLas-infected cultivars showed HLB symptoms in seven months. In cultivar Nianju (Citrus reticulata), Type 1 CLas caused pronounced yellowing symptoms and severe defoliation, whereas Type 2 CLas caused typical Zn-deficiency-like symptoms. In contrast, symptoms from the two CLas strains’ infections on cultivars Shatianyu (C. maxima), and Eureka lemon (Citrus limon) were more difficult to differentiate. Results from this study provide baseline information for future research to investigate the roles of CLas phages in HLB symptom development.