Transcriptome profiling of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ in citrus and psyllids

de Francesco, Agustina, Lovelace, Amelia H., Shaw, Dipan, Qiu, Min, Wang, Yuanchao, Gurung, Fatta, Ancona, Veronica, Wang, Chunxia, Levy, Amit, Jiang, Tao and Ma, Wenbo (2022) Transcriptome profiling of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ in citrus and psyllids. Phytopathology, 112 (1). pp. 116-130. ISSN 0031-949X

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‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (Las) is an emergent bacterial pathogen that is associated with the devastating citrus huanglongbing (HLB). Vectored by the Asian citrus psyllid, Las colonizes the phloem tissue of citrus, causing severe damage to infected trees. So far, cultivating pure Las culture in axenic media has not been successful, and dual-transcriptome analyses aiming to profile gene expression in both Las and its hosts have a low coverage of the Las genome because of the low abundance of bacterial RNA in total RNA extracts from infected tissues. Therefore, a lack of understanding of the Las transcriptome remains a significant knowledge gap. Here, we used a bacterial cell enrichment procedure and confidently determined the expression profiles of approximately 84% of the Las genes. Genes that exhibited high expression in citrus include transporters, ferritin, outer membrane porins, specific pilins, and genes involved in phage-related functions, cell wall modification, and stress responses. We also found 106 genes to be differentially expressed in citrus versus Asian citrus psyllids. Genes related to transcription or translation and resilience to host defense response were upregulated in citrus, whereas genes involved in energy generation and the flagella system were expressed to higher levels in psyllids. Finally, we determined the relative expression levels of potential Sec-dependent effectors, which are considered as key virulence factors of Las. This work advances our understanding of HLB biology and offers novel insight into the interactions of Las with its plant host and insect vector.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This work is supported by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture award 2016-70016-24833 to W. Ma and V. Ancona and 2020-70029-33197 to W. Ma and A. Levy.
Uncontrolled Keywords: asian citrus psyllid,bacterial pathogens,citrus greening disease,citrus huanglongbing,genomics,ngs,rna-seq,agronomy and crop science,plant science ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1100/1102
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > The Sainsbury Laboratory
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2022 10:39
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2023 10:30
DOI: 10.1094/PHYTO-08-21-0327-FI

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