“Bois noir” disease associated with ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’ seriously compromises the production and survival of grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) in Europe. Understanding the plant response to phytoplasmas should help to improve disease control strategies. Using a combined metabolomic and transcriptomic analysis, this work, therefore, investigated the phytoplasma–grapevine interaction in red cultivar Sangiovese in a vineyard over four seasonal growth stages (from late spring to late summer), comparing leaves from healthy and infected grapevines (symptomatic and symptomless). We found an accumulation of both conjugate and free salicylic acids (SAs) in the leaves of ‘Ca. P. solani’-positive plants from early stages of infection, when plants are still asymptomatic. A strong accumulation of gentisic acid (GA) associated with symptoms progression was found for the first time. A detailed analysis of phenylpropanoids revealed a significant accumulation of hydroxycinnamic acids, flavonols, flavan 3-ols, and anthocyanin cyanidin 3-O-glucoside, which are extensively studied due to their involvement in the plant response to various pathogens. Metabolomic data corroborated by gene expression analysis indicated that phenylpropanoid biosynthetic and salicylic acid-responsive genes were upregulated in ‘Ca. P. solani-positive plants compared to -negative ones during the observed period.
The complete genome sequence of “
Phytoplasma aurantifolia” TB2022, which consists of one 670,073-bp circular chromosome, is presented in this work. This bacterium is associated with sweet potato little leaf disease in Fujian Province, China.
Here, we announce the draft genome sequence of “
Liberibacter asiaticus” strain GZQL4, which was collected from Guizhou, China. The GZQL4 strain has a genome size of 1,234,029 bp, a G+C content of 36.5%, 1,204 predicted open reading frames, and 53 RNA genes.
AbstractDuring the past two decades, a high mortality of coconut palms was observed in the coastal areas of Equatorial Guinea. Reportedly, the palm population has been reduced by 60%–70%, and coconut production has decreased accordingly. To identify the cause of the mortality, a survey was carried out in April 2021 in various localities of the coconut belt. Molecular analyses carried out on 16S rRNA and secA genes detected phytoplasma presence in the majority of the samples. Sequencing and BLAST search of the 16S rRNA gene sequences showed >99% identity of the detected phytoplasmas to ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma palmicola’. The RFLP analyses of 16S ribosomal gene using Tru1I and TaqI enzymes led to assign these phytoplasmas to subgroup 16SrXXII‐A. In all samples that tested positive, including one from a hybrid coconut palm and two from oil palm the same phytoplasma was identified. The phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA and secA genes confirmed respectively 99.98%–100% and 97.94%–100% identity to ‘Ca. P. palmicola’. RFLP analyses using MboII enzyme on the secA gene amplicon differentiated the phytoplasma found in Equatorial Guinea from those present in Ghana and Ivory Coast. The Equatorial Guinean phytoplasma strain resulted to be identical to the strains from Mozambique, confirming the presence of a geographic differentiation among phytoplasma strains in the coastal areas of Western and Central Africa. The identified phytoplasma is different from the ‘Ca. P. palmicola’ strains found in Ghana and Ivory Coast and represents the first identification a 16SrXXII‐A strain in Equatorial Guinea and in Central Africa. Strict monitoring and surveillance procedures for early detection of the pathogen are strongly recommended to reduce its impact and further spread in the country and permit the recovery of coconut plantations.
Huanglongbing (HLB), caused by the Candidatus Liberibacter spp., is the most devastating disease in the citrus industry. HLB significantly affects and alters the microbial community structure or potential function of the microbial community of leaves and roots. However, it is unknown how the microbial community structure of the pericarp with different pigments is affected by Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). This study identified the enriched taxa of the microbial community in the citrus pericarp with normal or abnormal pigment and determine the effects of HLB on the pericarp microbial community using 16S rRNA-seq. The alpha and beta diversity and composition of microbial communities were significantly different between normal and abnormal pigment pericarp tissues of ripe fruits infected by CLas. Firmicutes, Actinobacteriota, Bacteroidota, Acidobacteriota, and Desulfobacterota dominated the pericarp microbiota composition in WDYFs (whole dark yellow fruits) samples. The relative abundance of most genera in WDYFs was higher than 1%, such as Burkholderia, and Pelomonas. However, with the exception of the HLB pathogen, the relative abundance of most genera in the abnormal-colored pericarp samples was less than 1%. CLas decreased the relative abundance of pericarp taxonomic. The predicted function of microbial was more plentiful and functional properties in the WDYF sample, such as translation, ribosomal structure and biogenesis, amino acid transport and metabolism, energy production and conversion, and some other clusters of orthologous groups (COG) except for cell motility. The results of this study offer novel insights into understanding the composition of microbial communities of the CLas-affected citrus pericarps and contribute to the development of biological control strategies for citrus against Huanglongbing.
“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.
AbstractCandidatusLiberibacter asiaticus (CLas) is the causal agent of the devastating citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) disease. Our understanding of the pathogenicity mechanism and biology of CLas remain limited because CLas has not been cultured in artificial media. CLas encodes 1136 proteins of which 415 have unknown functions. Since genetic studies of CLas genes with unknown functions are impossible, we utilized genome-wide protein-protein interactions (PPIs) yeast-two-hybrid (Y2H) assays to help solve the mystery. PPIs are fundamental to all cellular processes and machinery and instrumental in investigating uncharacterized proteins and inferring biological pathways. In total, 916 bait and 936 prey proteins were included in the three-phase screening, which identified 4245 interactions. The false positive rate of the Y2H assay was estimated to be 3.1%. Pull-down assays confirmed the robustness of our Y2H. The average interactions per node for CLas Y2H interactome were approximately 15.6, significantly higher than free-living bacteria, indicating genome reduction has led to a multi-function of proteins. PPIs provide clues for functions of 371 uncharacterized proteins of CLas. Forty HUB node proteins were identified which might play critical roles in CLas, including a quinone oxidoreductase and LysR that are known to protect bacteria against oxidative stress. This explains why CLas survives well in the phloem even though it triggers immune-mediated disease, systemic and chronic production of reactive oxygen species, and phloem cell death. This PPI database facilitates the investigation of CLas cellular biochemistry and physiology, functions of uncharacterized proteins, and pathogenicity mechanisms of the pathogen.
The beet leafhopper, Circulifer tenellus, is an important pest of agricultural crops in the United States, where it transmits Beet curly top virus, Beet leafhopper-transmitted virescence agent phytoplasma and Spiroplasma citri to numerous crops, affecting yield and quality. Each of these pathogens have been linked to serious disease outbreaks within Washington State in the past century. To mitigate the risk of disease, growers target the beet leafhopper in their insect pest management programs. Knowledge of pathogen prevalence in beet leafhopper populations could help growers make better management decisions, but timely diagnostics is required. Four new assays were developed for the rapid detection of the beet leafhopper-associated pathogens. These include two assays that detect Beet leafhopper transmitted virescence agent (a PCR and a real-time PCR SYBR green assay), a duplex PCR assay that simultaneously detects Beet curly top virus and Spiroplasma citri, and a multiplex real-time PCR assay for the simultaneous detection of all three pathogens. The screening of dilution series generated from plant total nucleic acid extracts with these new assays typically led to detection at levels 10- to 100-fold more sensitive than the conventional PCR assays currently used. These new tools will allow the rapid detection of beet leafhopper-associated pathogens in both plant and insect specimens and will have the potential to be used in diagnostic laboratories seeking to disseminate fast, accurate results to growers for implementation in their insect pest monitoring programs.
Bamboo is used for making structures, furniture, handicrafts, and ropes, as well as a source of food in the Philippines. One of the emerging diseases of bamboo in the country is the bamboo witches’ broom (BWB), which has been occasionally noted in three genera of bamboo – including Dendrocalamus, Gigantochloa, and Schizostachyum from various provinces in the Philippines (Ilocos Norte, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, and South Cotabato) since the 1990s. However, studies and information about BWB in the country remain lacking and largely unexplored. In this study, we report a similar disease affecting Dendrocalamus and Gigantochloa bamboo species from Bohol and Davao and – for the first time – in Dendrocalamus merrillianus ("bayog") and Bambusa spinosa ("kawayan-tinik") from Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya. As a result of the surveys conducted from 1999–2019, the disease is now identified in six species across four genera of bamboo – namely, Gigantochloa spp. (G. levis and G. atter), Dendrocalamus spp. (D. asper and D. merrillianus), Schizostachyum lumampao, and Bambusa spinosa recorded in 11 provinces in the Philippines. The BWB symptoms include clustering of leaves forming a rosette-like structure, leaf proliferation, excessive limb formation from a single node, and shortening of internodes. Nested PCR using the universal primers P1/P7 and R16MF2/R1 targeting the phytoplasma 16S ribosomal RNA gene revealed positive amplification in five symptomatic BWB samples from Isabela, Philippines. Subsequent sequencing (~ 1.3kbp) and phylogenetic analysis using the representative BWB isolates from Isabela revealed > 98.65% genetic similarity and clustering to Candidatus Phytoplasma luffae, which belongs to the 16SrVIII group (Loofah Witches’ Broom Group). This paper determined the distribution of BWB in different species of bamboo in the Philippines, as well as the association of 'Ca. Phytoplasma luffae'-related strain (16SrVIII) to BWB.
Huanglongbing (HLB), referred to as citrus greening disease, is a bacterial disease impacting citrus production worldwide and is fatal to young trees and mature trees of certain varieties. In some areas, the disease is devastating the citrus industry. A successful solution to HLB will be measured in economics: citrus growers need treatments that improve tree health, fruit production, and most importantly, economic yield. The profitability of citrus groves is the ultimate metric that truly matters when searching for solutions to HLB. Scientific approaches used in the laboratory, greenhouse, or field trials are critical to the discovery of those solutions and to estimate the likelihood of success of a treatment aimed at commercialization. Researchers and the citrus industry use a number of proxy evaluations of potential HLB solutions; understanding the strengths and limitations of each assay, as well as how best to compare different assays, is critical for decision-making to advance therapies into field trials and commercialization. This perspective aims to help the reader compare and understand the limitations of different proxy evaluation systems based on the treatment and evaluation under consideration. The researcher must determine the suitability of one or more of these metrics to identify treatments and predict the usefulness of these treatments in having an eventual impact on citrus production and HLB mitigation. As therapies advance to field trials in the next few years, a reevaluation of these metrics will be useful to guide future research efforts on strategies to mitigate HLB and vascular bacterial pathogens in other perennial crops.