Aster Yellows phytoplasma (AYp; ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’) is an obligate bacterial pathogen that is the causative agent of multiple diseases in herbaceous plants. While this phytoplasma has been examined in depth for its disease characteristics, knowledge about the spatial and temporal dynamics of pathogen spread is lacking. The phytoplasma is found in plant’s phloem and is vectored by leafhoppers (Cicadellidae: Hemiptera), including the aster leafhopper, Macrosteles quadrilineatus Forbes. The aster leafhopper is a migratory insect pest that overwinters in the southern United States, and historical data suggest these insects migrate from southern overwintering locations to northern latitudes annually, transmitting and driving phytoplasma infection rates as they migrate. A more in-depth understanding of the spatial, temporal and genetic determinants of Aster Yellows disease progress will lead to better integrated pest management strategies for Aster Yellows disease control. Carrot, Daucus carota L., plots were established at two planting densities in central Wisconsin and monitored during the 2018 growing season for Aster Yellows disease progression. Symptomatic carrots were sampled and assayed for the presence of the Aster Yellows phytoplasma. Aster Yellows disease progression was determined to be significantly associated with calendar date, crop density, location within the field, and phytoplasma subgroup.
AbstractA major bottleneck in identifying therapies to control citrus greening and other devastating plant diseases caused by fastidious pathogens is our inability to culture the pathogens in defined media or axenic cultures. As such, conventional approaches for antimicrobial evaluation (genetic or chemical) rely on time-consuming, low-throughput and inherently variable whole-plant assays. Here, we report that plant hairy roots support the growth of fastidious pathogens like Candidatus Liberibacter spp., the presumptive causal agents of citrus greening, potato zebra chip and tomato vein greening diseases. Importantly, we leverage the microbial hairy roots for rapid, reproducible efficacy screening of multiple therapies. We identify six antimicrobial peptides, two plant immune regulators and eight chemicals which inhibit Candidatus Liberibacter spp. in plant tissues. The antimicrobials, either singly or in combination, can be used as near- and long-term therapies to control citrus greening, potato zebra chip and tomato vein greening diseases.
AbstractThe recently discovered DPANN archaea are a potentially deep-branching, monophyletic radiation of organisms with small cells and genomes. However, the monophyly and early emergence of the various DPANN clades and their role in life’s evolution are debated. Here, we reconstructed and analysed genomes of an uncharacterized archaeal phylum (Candidatus Undinarchaeota), revealing that its members have small genomes and, while potentially being able to conserve energy through fermentation, likely depend on partner organisms for the acquisition of certain metabolites. Our phylogenomic analyses robustly place Undinarchaeota as an independent lineage between two highly supported ‘DPANN’ clans. Further, our analyses suggest that DPANN have exchanged core genes with their hosts, adding to the difficulty of placing DPANN in the tree of life. This pattern can be sufficiently dominant to allow identifying known symbiont-host clades based on routes of gene transfer. Together, our work provides insights into the origins and evolution of DPANN and their hosts.
AbstractCandidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) has been associated with Huanglongbing, a lethal vector-borne disease affecting citrus crops worldwide. While comparative genomics has provided preliminary insights into the metabolic capabilities of this uncultured microorganism, a comprehensive functional characterization is currently lacking. Here, we reconstructed and manually curated genome-scale metabolic models for the six CLas strains A4, FL17, gxpsy, Ishi-1, psy62, and YCPsy, in addition to a model of the closest related culturable microorganism, L. crescens BT-1. Predictions about nutrient requirements and changes in growth phenotypes of CLas were confirmed using in vitro hairy root-based assays, while the L. crescens BT-1 model was validated using cultivation assays. Host-dependent metabolic phenotypes were revealed using expression data obtained from CLas-infected citrus trees and from the CLas-harboring psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama. These results identified conserved and unique metabolic traits, as well as strain-specific interactions between CLas and its hosts, laying the foundation for the development of model-driven Huanglongbing management strategies.
In order to characterize a river-associated, enriched microbiome capable of degrading an anthraquinone dye from the oil blue family, as well as assessing its functional potential, we performed a taxa-specific metagenomic deconvolution analysis based on contact probability maps at the chromosomal level. This study will allow associating the genomic content of “Candidatus Afipia apatlaquensis” strain IBT-C3 with its phenotypic potential in the context of bioremediation of textile dyes. We anticipate that this resource will be very useful in comparative genomic clinical studies, contributing to understanding the genomic basis of Afipia pathogenicity.
Here, we report the first draft genome sequence of “Candidatus Afipia apatlaquensis” sp. nov., strain IBT-C3, obtained by deconvolution of a textile-dye degrader microbiome in Mexico. The genome composite was deconvoluted using a Hi-C proximity ligation method. Whole-genome-based comparisons and phylogenomics reconstruction indicate that strain IBT-C3 represents a new species of the genus Afipia. The assembly completeness was 92.5% with 5,604,749 bp in length and 60.72% G+C content. The genome complement of IBT-C3 suggests a functional potential for decolorization of textile dyes, contrasting with previous reports of Afipia genus focused on its pathogenic potential.
Most of the microorganisms responsible for vector-borne diseases (VBD) have hematophagous arthropods as vector/reservoir. Recently, many new species of microorganisms phylogenetically related to agents of VBD were found in a variety of aquatic eukaryotic hosts; in particular, numerous new bacterial species related to the genus Rickettsia (Alphaproteobacteria, Rickettsiales) were discovered in protist ciliates and other unicellular eukaryotes. Although their pathogenicity for humans and terrestrial animals is not known, several indirect indications exist that these bacteria might act as etiological agents of possible VBD of aquatic organisms, with protists as vectors. In the present study, a novel strain of the Rickettsia-Like Organism (RLO) endosymbiont “Candidatus (Ca.) Trichorickettsia mobilis” was identified in the macronucleus of the ciliate Paramecium multimicronucleatum. We performed transfection experiments of this RLO to planarians (Dugesia japonica) per os. Indeed, the latter is a widely used model system for studying bacteria pathogenic to humans and other Metazoa. In transfection experiments, homogenized paramecia were added to food of antibiotic-treated planarians. Treated and non-treated (i.e. control) planarians were investigated at day 1, 3, and 7 after feeding for endosymbiont presence by means of PCR and ultrastructural analyses. Obtained results were fully concordant and suggest that this RLO endosymbiont can be transiently transferred from ciliates to metazoans, being detected up to day 7 in treated planarians’ enterocytes. Our findings might offer insights into the potential role of ciliates or other protists as putative vectors for diseases caused by Rickettsiales or other RLOs and occurring in fish farms or in the wild.