Huanglongbing (otherwise known as HLB or greening) is currently the most devastating citrus disease worldwide. HLB is primarily associated with the phloem-inhabiting bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas). Currently, there are no citrus species resistant to CLas. Genetic transformation is one of the most effective approaches used to induce resistance against plant diseases. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have shown potential breakthroughs to improve resistance to bacterial diseases in plants. In this paper, we confirm the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of Pera sweet orange expressing the AMP sarcotoxin IA (stx IA) gene isolated from the flesh fly Sarcophaga peregrina and its reaction to CLas, involving plant performance and fruit quality assessments. Four independent transgenic lines, STX-5, STX-11, STX-12, and STX-13, and a non-transgenic control, were graft-inoculated with CLas. Based on our findings, none of the transgenic plants were immune to CLas. However, the STX-5 and STX-11 lines showed reduced susceptibility to HLB with mild disease symptoms and low incidence of plants with the presence of CLas. Fruit and juice quality were not affected by the genetic transformation. Further, no residues of the sarcotoxin IA protein were found in the juice of the STX-11 and STX-12 fruits, though detected in the juice of the STX-5 and STX-13 lines, as revealed by the immunoblotting test. However, juices from all transgenic lines showed low traces of sarcotoxin IA peptide in its composition. The accumulation of this peptide did not cause any deleterious effects on plants or in fruit/juice. Our findings reinforce the challenges of identifying novel approaches to managing HLB.
In addition to Mycoplasma haemocanis and Candidatus Mycoplasma haematoparvum, a few hemoplasma species that mainly infect other livestock have been detected in dogs. ‘Candidatus Mycoplasma haemobos’ (Ca. M. haemobos) has been found in a variety of animals in China. The present study was aimed to investigate the occurrence of ‘Ca. M. haemobos’ infections in dogs and ticks collected from the Henan province, China.
Overall, 55 dog blood samples and 378 ticks on skins were collected from anemic and healthy dogs, and these samples were subjected to PCR, sequence analysis, and identification. The results showed that Haemaphysalis longicornis (266) and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (112) were the only two parasitic ticks on dogs. Molecular detection revealed that 163 M. haemocanis, 88 ‘Ca. M. haemobos’ and 32 Anaplasma platys positive amplicons could be amplified from dogs, H. longicornis and R. (B.) microplus. In addition, co-infections (M. haemocanis + A. platys and ‘Ca. M. haemobos’+ A. platys) could be also detected.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first molecular evidence of ‘Ca. M. haemobos’ natural infection in dogs and tick species identified as H. longicornis and R. (B.) microplus from China.
AbstractCandidatus Branchiomonas cysticola is an intracellular, gram-negative Betaproteobacteria causing epitheliocystis in Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar L.). The bacterium has not been genetically characterized at the intraspecific level despite its high prevalence among salmon suffering from gill disease in Norwegian aquaculture. DNA from gill samples of Atlantic salmon PCR positive for Cand. B. cysticola and displaying pathological signs of gill disease, was, therefore, extracted and subject to next-generation sequencing (mNGS). Partial sequences of four housekeeping (HK) genes (aceE, lepA, rplB, rpoC) were ultimately identified from the sequenced material. Assays for real-time RT-PCR and fluorescence in-situ hybridization, targeting the newly acquired genes, were simultaneously applied with existing assays targeting the previously characterized 16S rRNA gene. Agreement in both expression and specificity between these putative HK genes and the 16S gene was observed in all instances, indicating that the partial sequences of these HK genes originate from Cand. B. cysticola. The knowledge generated from the present study constitutes a major prerequisite for the future design of novel genotyping schemes for this bacterium.
The citrus industry has been threatened by Huanglongbing (HLB) for over a century. Here, an HLB-induced Arabidopsis RPM1-interacting protein 4 (RIN4) homologous gene was cloned from Citrus clementina, and its characteristics and function were analyzed to determine its role during citrus–Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) interactions. Quantitative real-time PCR showed that RIN4 was expressed in roots, stems, leaves and flowers, with the greatest expression level in leaves. Its expression was suppressed by gibberellic acid, indole-3-acetic acid, salicylic acid and jasmonic acid treatments, but was induced by abscisic acid and salt treatments, as well as wounding. The transient expression of a RIN4-GFP showed that RIN4 was localized in the cell membrane. RIN4-overexpressing transgenic C. maxima cv. ‘Shatianyou’ plants were obtained, and some transgenic plants showed greater sensitivity to CLas infection and earlier HLB symptoms appearance than non-transgenic controls. Results obtained in this study indicated that the upregulated expression of RIN4 in HLB diseased citrus may aid CLas infection.
The genus ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’ was proposed to accommodate cell wall-less bacteria that are molecularly and biochemically incompletely characterized, and colonize plant phloem and insect vector tissues. This provisional classification is highly relevant due to its application in epidemiological and ecological studies, mainly aimed at keeping the severe phytoplasma plant diseases under control worldwide. Given the increasing discovery of molecular diversity within the genus ‘Ca. Phytoplasma’, the proposed guidelines were revised and clarified to accommodate those ‘Ca. Phytoplasma’ species strains sharing >98.65 % sequence identity of their full or nearly full 16S rRNA gene sequences, obtained with at least twofold coverage of the sequence, compared with those of the reference strain of such species. Strains sharing <98.65 % sequence identity with the reference strain but >98.65 % with other strain(s) within the same ‘Ca. Phytoplasma’ species should be considered related strains to that ‘Ca. Phytoplasma’ species. The guidelines herein, keep the original published reference strains. However, to improve ‘Ca. Phytoplasma’ species assignment, complementary strains are suggested as an alternative to the reference strains. This will be implemented when only a partial 16S rRNA gene and/or a few other genes have been sequenced, or the strain is no longer available for further molecular characterization. Lists of ‘Ca. Phytoplasma’ species and alternative reference strains described are reported. For new ‘Ca. Phytoplasma’ species that will be assigned with identity ≥98.65 % of their 16S rRNA gene sequences, a threshold of 95 % genome-wide average nucleotide identity is suggested. When the whole genome sequences are unavailable, two among conserved housekeeping genes could be used. There are 49 officially published ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’ species, including ‘Ca. P. cocostanzaniae’ and ‘Ca. P. palmae’ described in this manuscript.