Clark, Kelley J.
Clark et al.
Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions®
Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus
Agronomy and Crop Science
- Sec-delivered effector 1 (SDE1) from the huanglongbing (HLB)-associated bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ was previously characterized as an inhibitor of defense-related, papain-like cysteine proteases in vitro and in planta. Here, we investigated the contributions of SDE1 to HLB progression. We found that SDE1 expression in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana caused severe yellowing in mature leaves, reminiscent of both ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ infection symptoms and accelerated leaf senescence. Induction of senescence signatures was also observed in the SDE1-expressing A. thaliana lines. These signatures were apparent in older leaves but not in seedlings, suggesting an age-associated effect. Furthermore, independent lines of transgenic Citrus paradisi (L.) Macfadyen (Duncan grapefruit) that express SDE1 exhibited hypersusceptibility to ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’. Similar to A. thaliana, transgenic citrus expressing SDE1 showed altered expression of senescence-associated genes, but only after infection with ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’. These findings suggest that SDE1 is a virulence factor that contributes to HLB progression, likely by inducing premature or accelerated senescence in citrus. This work provides new insight into HLB pathogenesis. [Formula: see text] Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license .