The pathogens associated with citrus Huanglongbing symptoms, including yellowing and mottled leaves in Citrus maxima, an important economic crop on Hainan Island of China, were identified and characterized. In the study, detection, genetic variation and phylogenetic relationship analysis of the pathogens were performed based on 16S rRNA and β-operon gene fragments specific to phytoplasma and Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. The results indicated that the pathogens—such as phytoplasma strains of CmPII-hn belonging to the 16SrII-V subgroup and CmPXXXII-hn belonging to the 16SrXXXII-D subgroup, as well as Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus strains CmLas-hn—were identified in the diseased plant samples, with numbers of 12, 2 and 6 out of 54, respectively. Among them, mixed infection with the 16SrII-V subgroup phytoplasma and Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus was found in the study, accounting for 7.4% (four samples). The phytoplasma strains of CmPII-hn—Tephrosia purpurea witches’ broom, Melochia corchorifolia witches’ broom and Emilia sonchifolia witches’ broom—were clustered into one clade belonging to the 16SrII-V subgroup, with a 99% bootstrap value. The phytoplasma strains of CmPXXXII-hn and Trema tomentosa witches’ broom belonging to 16SrXXXII-D, and the other 16SrXXXII subgroup strains were clustered into one clade belonging to the 16SrXXXII group with a 99% bootstrap value. There were 16 variable loci in the 16S rRNA gene sequences of the tested 16SrXXXII group phytoplasma strains, of which two bases had an insertion/deletion. The strains of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, identified in the study and the strains that had been deposited in GenBank, were in one independent cluster with a 99% bootstrap value. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing that Citrus maxima can be infected by 16SrII-V and16SrXXXII-D subgroup phytoplasmas in China. Moreover, this is also the first report in which the plants are co-infected by 16SrII-V subgroup phytoplasmas and Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. More comprehensive and detailed identification and characterization of the pathogens associated with the diseased symptoms in Citrus maxima on the island in China would be beneficial for epidemic monitoring and for the effective prevention and control of related plant diseases.
Grapevine Bois noir (BN) is associated with ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’. It has been recorded in vineyards throughout Europe as well as in different countries in Asia, where it now constitutes a threat to Iranian viticulture. BN is strictly dependent on ‘Ca. P. solani’ strains, wild host plants, and insect vectors. The molecular typing of ‘Ca. P. solani’, based on the nonribosomal gene tuf and the two hypervariable markers vmp1 and stamp, is valuable for the reconstruction and clarification of the pathways of BN spread. In this study, an RFLP analysis was performed on the vmp1 gene, and a single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis confirmed new vmp types in ‘Ca. P. solani’. A stamp gene phylogenetic analysis allowed us to distinguish between the new genotype infections in the grapevines and the ‘weeds’ Convolvulus arvensis and Erigeron bonariensis in Iranian vineyards, highlighting the close genetic relatedness of the strains of ‘Ca. P. solani’ found in Iran and Azerbaijan. The most common genotype in the grapevines was tuf b/V24/stamp III, which was associated with C. arvensis. This information contributes toward the identification of further routes of introduction of ‘Ca. P. solani’ in Iran to sustain the control measures for the management of BN.
AbstractMembers of the bacterial genusRickettsiawere originally identified as causative agents of vector-borne diseases in mammals. However, manyRickettsiaspecies are arthropod symbionts and close relatives of ‘CandidatusMegaira’, which are symbiotic associates of microeukaryotes. Here, we clarify the evolutionary relationships between these organisms by assembling 26 genomes ofRickettsiaspecies from understudied groups, including the Torix group, and two genomes of ‘Ca. Megaira’ from various insects and microeukaryotes. Our analyses of the new genomes, in comparison with previously described ones, indicate that the accessory genome diversity and broad host range of TorixRickettsiaare comparable to those of all otherRickettsiacombined. Therefore, the Torix clade may play unrecognized roles in invertebrate biology and physiology. We argue this clade should be given its own genus status, for which we propose the name ‘CandidatusTisiphia’.
AbstractIntracellular pathogens are challenged with limited space and resources while replicating in a single host cell. Mechanisms for direct invasion of neighboring host cells have been discovered in cell culture, but we lack an understanding of how bacteria directly spread between host cells in vivo. Here, we describe the discovery of intracellular bacteria that use filamentation for spreading between the intestinal epithelial cells of a natural host, the rhabditid nematode Oscheius tipulae. The bacteria, which belong to the new species Bordetella atropi, can infect the nematodes following a fecal-oral route, and reduce host life span and fecundity. Filamentation requires UDP-glucose biosynthesis and sensing, a highly conserved pathway that is used by other bacteria to detect rich conditions and inhibit cell division. Our results indicate that B. atropi uses a pathway that normally regulates bacterial cell size to trigger filamentation inside host cells, thus facilitating cell-to-cell dissemination.
Florida citrus production has declined 75% due to Huanglongbing (HLB), a disease caused by the pathogenic bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). Methods to combat CLas are costly and only partially effective. The cross-compatible species Poncirus trifoliata and some of its hybrids are known to be highly tolerant to CLas, and thus can potentially serve as an alternative feedstock for many citrus products. To further investigate the commercial potential of citrus hybrids, three citrus hybrids, US-802, US-897, and US-942, were studied for their potential as feedstocks for citrus co-products using steam explosion (STEX) followed by water extraction. Up to 93% of sugars were recovered. US-897 and US-942 have similar volatile profiles to that of the commercial citrus fruit types and as much as 85% of these volatiles could be recovered. Approximately 80% of the pectic hydrocolloids present in all three hybrids could be obtained in water washes of STEX material. Of the phenolics identified, the flavanone glycosides, i.e., naringin, neohesperidin, and poncirin were the most abundant quantitatively in these hybrids. The ability to extract a large percentage of these compounds, along with their inherent values, make US-802, US-897, and US-942 potentially viable feedstock sources for citrus co-products in the current HLB-blighted environment.
Citrus production is facing an unprecedented problem because of huanglongbing (HLB) disease. Presently, no effective HLB-easing method is available when citrus becomes infected. Guanosine 5′-monophosphate synthetase (GMPS) is a key protein in the de novo synthesis of guanine nucleotides. GMPS is used as an attractive target for developing agents that are effective against the patogen infection. In this research, homology modeling, structure-based virtual screening, and molecular docking were used to discover the new inhibitors against CLas GMPS. Enzyme assay showed that folic acid and AZD1152 showed high inhibition at micromole concentrations, with AZD1152 being the most potent molecule. The inhibition constant (Ki) value of folic acid and AZD1152 was 51.98 µM and 4.05 µM, respectively. These results suggested that folic acid and AZD1152 could be considered as promising candidates for the development of CLas agents.
The chicken is the most abundant food animal in the world. However, despite its importance, the chicken gut microbiome remains largely undefined. Here, we exploit culture-independent and culture-dependent approaches to reveal extensive taxonomic diversity within this complex microbial community.
We performed metagenomic sequencing of fifty chicken faecal samples from two breeds and analysed these, alongside all (n = 582) relevant publicly available chicken metagenomes, to cluster over 20 million non-redundant genes and to construct over 5,500 metagenome-assembled bacterial genomes. In addition, we recovered nearly 600 bacteriophage genomes. This represents the most comprehensive view of taxonomic diversity within the chicken gut microbiome to date, encompassing hundreds of novel candidate bacterial genera and species. To provide a stable, clear and memorable nomenclature for novel species, we devised a scalable combinatorial system for the creation of hundreds of well-formed Latin binomials. We cultured and genome-sequenced bacterial isolates from chicken faeces, documenting over forty novel species, together with three species from the genus Escherichia, including the newly named species Escherichia whittamii.
Our metagenomic and culture-based analyses provide new insights into the bacterial, archaeal and bacteriophage components of the chicken gut microbiome. The resulting datasets expand the known diversity of the chicken gut microbiome and provide a key resource for future high-resolution taxonomic and functional studies on the chicken gut microbiome.
Background: ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas) is a major causal agent of citrus greening disease. The disease primarily involves an asymptomatic, often latent infection of CLas. However, there is no effective technique to distinguish latent-infected trees from healthy ones. This study describes the development of a new detection method for latent CLas infection using cuttings. Methods: Root tissues regenerated from cuttings using symptomatic and asymptomatic citrus trees were prepared for real-time a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test which was used to investigate latent CLas. When some of the regenerated roots were negative for CLas in the first real-time PCR assay, a subsequent cultivation in soils was performed using the CLas-negative cuttings. CLas development during cultivation was evaluated by a second real-time PCR assay using soil-grown roots from seedlings. Results: Previously, CLas had not been detected from leaves of the latent-infected trees in our greenhouse by real-time PCR. In this study, however, CLas was detected at a moderate frequency from the root tissues of cuttings derived from the latent-infected trees, by the same PCR test. For cuttings with regenerated roots that tested negative for CLas by real-time PCR, CLas was frequently detected from roots grown in nursery soil with autoclaving, after cultivation for a month or more. Conclusions: Latent infection with CLas was detectable by real-time PCR using root tissues regenerated by cuttings and roots grown in nursery soil with autoclaving. These results suggest that the new method of investigation would provide great opportunities for early detection of CLas in asymptomatic citrus trees from field surveys, and would accelerate the eradication practice of citrus greening.
“Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas) and Spiroplasma citri are phloem-limited bacteria that infect citrus and are transmitted by insect vectors. S. citri causes citrus stubborn disease (CSD) and is vectored by the beet leafhopper in California. CLas is associated with the devastating citrus disease, Huanglongbing (HLB), and is vectored by the Asian citrus psyllid. CLas is a regulatory pathogen spreading in citrus on residential properties in southern California and is an imminent threat to spread to commercial citrus plantings. CSD is endemic in California and has symptoms in citrus that can be easily confused with HLB. Therefore, the objective of this study was to develop a multiplex qPCR and duplex droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assay for simultaneous detection of CLas and S. citri to be used where both pathogens can co-exist. The multiplex qPCR assay was designed to detect multicopy genes of CLas—RNR (5 copies) and S. citri–SPV1 ORF1 (13 copies), respectively, and citrus cytochrome oxidase (COX) as internal positive control. Absolute quantitation of these pathogens was achieved by duplex ddPCR as a supplement for marginal qPCR results. Duplex ddPCR allowed higher sensitivity than qPCR for detection of CLas and S. citri. ddPCR showed higher tolerance to inhibitors and yielded highly reproducible results. The multiplex qPCR assay has the benefit of testing both pathogens at reduced cost and can serve to augment the official regulatory protocol for CLas detection in California. Moreover, the ddPCR provided unambiguous absolute detection of CLas and S. citri at very low concentrations without any standards for pathogen titer.