Identification of Autophagy-Related Genes in the Potato Psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli and Their Expression Profile in Response to ‘Candidatus Liberibacter Solanacearum’ in the Gut

Tang, Tamborindeguy (2021). Insects 12 (12)
“Liberibacter solanacearum” Liberibacter
Insect Science
Autophagy, also known as type II programmed cell death, is a cellular mechanism of “self-eating”. Autophagy plays an important role against pathogen infection in numerous organisms. Recently, it has been demonstrated that autophagy can be activated and even manipulated by plant viruses to facilitate their transmission within insect vectors. However, little is known about the role of autophagy in the interactions of insect vectors with plant bacterial pathogens. ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso) is a phloem-limited Gram-negative bacterium that infects crops worldwide. Two Lso haplotypes, LsoA and LsoB, are transmitted by the potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli and cause damaging diseases in solanaceous plants (e.g., zebra chip in potatoes). Both LsoA and LsoB are transmitted by the potato psyllid in a persistent circulative manner: they colonize and replicate within psyllid tissues. Following acquisition, the gut is the first organ Lso encounters and could be a barrier for transmission. In this study, we annotated autophagy-related genes (ATGs) from the potato psyllid transcriptome and evaluated their expression in response to Lso infection at the gut interface. In total, 19 ATGs belonging to 17 different families were identified. The comprehensive expression profile analysis revealed that the majority of the ATGs were regulated in the psyllid gut following the exposure or infection to each Lso haplotype, LsoA and LsoB, suggesting a potential role of autophagy in response to Lso at the psyllid gut interface.
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