AbstractCandidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) has been associated with Huanglongbing, a lethal vector-borne disease affecting citrus crops worldwide. While comparative genomics has provided preliminary insights into the metabolic capabilities of this uncultured microorganism, a comprehensive functional characterization is currently lacking. Here, we reconstructed and manually curated genome-scale metabolic models for the six CLas strains A4, FL17, gxpsy, Ishi-1, psy62, and YCPsy, in addition to a model of the closest related culturable microorganism, L. crescens BT-1. Predictions about nutrient requirements and changes in growth phenotypes of CLas were confirmed using in vitro hairy root-based assays, while the L. crescens BT-1 model was validated using cultivation assays. Host-dependent metabolic phenotypes were revealed using expression data obtained from CLas-infected citrus trees and from the CLas-harboring psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama. These results identified conserved and unique metabolic traits, as well as strain-specific interactions between CLas and its hosts, laying the foundation for the development of model-driven Huanglongbing management strategies.
Globally, citrus is threatened by huanglongbing (HLB), and the lack of effective control measures is a major concern of farmers, markets, and consumers. There is compelling evidence that plant health is a function of the activities of the plant's associated microbiome. Using
, a culturable surrogate for the unculturable HLB-associated bacterium “
Liberibacter asiaticus,” we tested the hypothesis that members of the citrus microbiome produce potential anti-“
. Liberibacter asiaticus” natural products with potential anti-“
. Liberibacter asiaticus” activity. A subset of isolates obtained from the microbiome inhibited
growth in an agar diffusion inhibition assay. Further fractionation experiments linked the inhibitory activity of the fungus
to the fungus-produced natural products cladosporols A, C, and D, demonstrating dose-dependent antagonism to