‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ is the bacterium associated with the citrus disease known as huanglongbing (HLB). This study evaluated the influence of ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ infection on a number of key plant physiological variables concerning photosynthesis, cell integrity, reactive oxygen species scavengers’ activity, and osmoregulation of two different species of citrus—the pomelo Citrus maxima and the mandarin C. reticulata ‘Tankan’—relative to their measured ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ infection load. Results indicated that all measured physiological variables except soluble sugar were affected by increased ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ infection titers, wherein the variety C. maxima proved overall more resistant than C. reticulata. ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ infection was linked in both plants to decrease in chlorophyll concentration, cell membrane permeability, and malondialdehyde, as well as increased free proline and starch contents. Chlorophyll fluorescence measurements taken 9 months after grafting the mandarin C. reticulata with ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ scions revealed a significant decrease in the photosynthesis variables maximum photochemical quantum yield of photosystem II (PSII), effective photochemical quantum yield of PSII, and coefficient of photochemical fluorescence quenching assuming interconnected PSII antennae, whereas nonphotochemical fluorescence quenching increased significantly; C. maxima plants, on the other hand, did not show significant differences until the 12th month from infection exposure. The variables superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase, and soluble protein initially increased and later decreased. In addition, progression of ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ replication in both citrus species was accompanied by rapid changes in three reactive oxygen species scavenging enzymes in C. maxima, while the pattern was different in C. reticulata. We hypothesize that the observed interspecific differences in physiological change are related to their relative resistance against ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ infection. These results provide a scaffold for better describing the pathogenesis, selecting the most resistant breeds, or even validating pertaining omics research; ultimately, these detailed observations can facilitate the diagnosis of ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ infection.
‘ Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas) is associated with the devastating citrus disease Huanglongbing (HLB). Young flushes are the center of the HLB pathosystem due to their roles in the psyllid life cycle and in the acquisition and transmission of CLas. However, the early events of CLas infection and how CLas modulates young flush physiology remain poorly understood. Here, transmission electron microscopy analysis showed that the mean diameter of the sieve pores decreased in young leaves of HLB-positive trees after CLas infection, consistent with CLas-triggered callose deposition. RNA-seq-based global expression analysis of young leaves of HLB-positive sweet orange with (CLas-Pos) and without (CLas-Neg) detectable CLas demonstrated a significant impact on gene expression in young leaves, including on the expression of genes involved in host immunity, stress response, and plant hormone biosynthesis and signaling. CLas-Pos and CLas-Neg expression data displayed distinct patterns. The number of upregulated genes was higher than that of the downregulated genes in CLas-Pos for plant−pathogen interactions, glutathione metabolism, peroxisome, and calcium signaling, which are commonly associated with pathogen infections, compared with the healthy control. On the contrary, the number of upregulated genes was lower than that of the downregulated genes in CLas-Neg for genes involved in plant−pathogen interactions and peroxisome biogenesis/metabolism. Additionally, a time-course quantitative reverse transcription-PCR-based expression analysis visualized the induced expression of companion cell-specific genes, phloem protein 2 genes, and sucrose transport genes in young flushes triggered by CLas. This study advances our understanding of early events during CLas infection of citrus young flushes.
‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso) is the causal agent of zebra chip of potato (Solanum tuberosum), which can significantly reduce potato yield. In this study, a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method for the detection of Lso haplotypes A and B was developed and evaluated. Two sets of LAMP primers named LAMP-A and LAMP-B were designed and tested for specificity and sensitivity. Both LAMP-A and LAMP-B were specific to Lso in in silico analysis using the Primer-Blast tool. The LAMP-A and LAMP-B could only produce positive signals from DNA mixtures of Lso-infected tomato but not from the genomic DNA of 37 nontarget plant pathogens. The sensitivity of LAMP-A and LAMP-B on Lso haplotypes A and B were tested on gBlocks and genomic DNA from Lso-infected tomato. On the genomic DNA for LAMP-A, the lowest amount of template DNA for a positive LAMP reaction was 2 to 20 ng on four haplotype A strains and 20 to 80 ng on four haplotype B strains; for LAMP-B, the lowest amount of template DNA for a positive LAMP reaction was 0.02 to 2 ng on four haplotype B strains and 20 ng to no amplification on four haplotype A strains. On gBlocks for LAMP-A, the lowest number of copies for a positive LAMP reaction was 60 on haplotype A and 600 on haplotype B; for LAMP-B, the lowest number of copies for a positive LAMP reaction was 60 on haplotype B and 600 on haplotype A. Therefore, considering the convenience of the LAMP technique, as well as the high specificity and sensitivity, the LAMP-A and LAMP-B primers can be used together to test the probable Lso-infected plant or psyllid samples to rapidly, accurately, and directly differentiate haplotypes A and B. We highly recommend this LAMP system to plant pathology practitioners and diagnostic labs for routine detection of Lso and confirmation of zebra chip disease on potato or tomato.
Two phloem-limited pathogens, 'Candidatus Arsenophonus phytopathogenicus' and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma solani', threaten sugar beet production in France, Switzerland and Germany. Previous studies of these pathogens in Germany had focused on its western and southern regions, leaving a knowledge gap about eastern Germany. Despite their importance, this study is the first to investigate phytoplasmas in sugar beet in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. A phytoplasma strain related to 'Ca. P. solani' is found predominant in Saxony-Anhalt, unlike in France, where 'Ca. P. solani' has a minor role compared to 'Ca. A. phytopathogenicus'. The phytoplasma strain infecting sugar beet in Saxony-Anhalt was classified into a new subgroup designated as 16SrXII-P. The MLSA of non-ribosomal genes of the novel phytoplasma strain showed that it is significantly different from the reference and all previously reported 'Ca. P. solani' strains including strain from western Germany. Analyses of sugar beet samples from previous years confirmed the presence of the 16SrXII-P strain in sugar beet as early as 2020, and also in Bavaria in southern Germany. Based on 16S rDNA analysis, 'Ca. A. phytopathogenicus' in Saxony-Anhalt is identical to strains in sugar beet in other parts of Germany and France, as well as to a strain in potato from Germany. The presence and prevalence of two phytoplasmas in sugar beet in Germany, suggest that more attention should be directed towards understanding phytoplasma infection in sugar beet in this country.
AbstractPhytoplasmas are obligate cell wall-less prokaryotic bacteria that primarily multiply in plant phloem tissue. Jujube witches’ broom (JWB) associated with phytoplasma is a destructive disease of jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.). Here we report the complete ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma ziziphi’ chromosome of strain Hebei-2018, which is a circular genome of 764,108-base pairs with 735 predicted CDS. Notably, extra 19,825 bp (from 621,995 to 641,819 bp) compared to the previously reported one complements the genes involved in glycolysis, such as pdhA, pdhB, pdhC, pdhD, ackA, pduL and LDH. The synonymous codon usage bias (CUB) patterns by using comparative genomics analysis among the 9 phytoplasmas were similar for most codons. The ENc-GC3s analysis among the 9 phytoplasmas showed a greater effect under the selection on the CUBs of phytoplasmas genes than mutation and other factors. The genome exhibited a strongly reduced ability in metabolic synthesis, while the genes encoding transporter systems were well developed. The genes involved in sec-dependent protein translocation system were also identified.The expressions of nine FtsHs encoding membrane associated ATP-dependent Zn proteases and Mn-SodA with redox capacity in the Ca. P. ziziphi was positively correlated with the phytoplasma concentration. Taken together, the genome will not only expand the number of phytoplasma species and provide some new information about Ca. P. ziziphi, but also contribute to exploring its pathogenic mechanism.
Autophagy functions in plant host immunity responses to pathogen infection. The molecular mechanisms and functions used by the citrus Huanglongbing (HLB)-associated intracellular bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas) to manipulate autophagy are unknown. We identified a CLas effector, SDE4405 (CLIBASIA_04405), which contributes to HLB progression. ‘Wanjincheng’ orange (Citrus sinensis) transgenic plants expressing SDE4405 promotes CLas proliferation and symptom expression via suppressing host immunity responses. SDE4405 interacts with the ATG8-family of proteins (ATG8s), and their interactions activate autophagy in Nicotiana benthamiana. The occurrence of autophagy is also significantly enhanced in SDE4405-transgenic citrus plants. Interrupting NbATG8s-SDE4405 interaction by silencing of NbATG8c reduces Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato strain DC3000ΔhopQ1-1 (Pst DC3000ΔhopQ1-1) proliferation in N. benthamiana, and transient overexpression of CsATG8c and SDE4405 in citrus promotes Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xcc) multiplication, suggesting that SDE4405-ATG8s interaction negatively regulates plant defense. These results demonstrate the role of the CLas effector protein in manipulating autophagy, and provide new molecular insights into the interaction between CLas and citrus hosts.