Candidatus Liberibacter Asiaticus Manipulates the Expression of Vitellogenin, Cytoskeleton, and Endocytotic Pathway-Related Genes to Become Circulative in Its Vector, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae)
Citrus greening disease or huanglongbing (HLB) caused by Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) limits the citrus production worldwide. CLas is transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) in a persistent-propagative manner. Application of insecticides to manage the psyllid vectors and disease is the most common practice. Understanding the molecular interaction between CLas and ACP and interrupting the interrelationship can provide an alternative to insecticides for managing citrus greening disease. Transcriptome analysis of ACP in response to CLas showed differential expression of 3911 genes (2196 up-regulated, and 1715 down-regulated) including the key genes of ACP involved in cytoskeleton synthesis and nutrition-related proteins. Majority of the differentially expressed genes were categorized under molecular function followed by cellular components and biological processes. KEGG pathway analysis showed differential regulation of carbohydrate, nucleotide and energy metabolic pathways, the endocytotic pathway and the defense-related pathways. Differential regulation of genes associated with the key pathways might favors CLas to become systemic and propagate in its insect vector. The study provides an understanding of genes involved in circulation of CLas in ACP. The candidate genes involved in key physiological processes and CLas transmission by ACP would be potential targets for sustainable management of ACP and CLas.