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Fort Pierce, FL, United States

Lin H.,San Joaquin Valley Agricultural science Center | Lou B.,San Joaquin Valley Agricultural science Center | Lou B.,Guangxi Citrus Research Institute | Glynn J.M.,San Joaquin Valley Agricultural science Center | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Zebra Chip (ZC) is an emerging plant disease that causes aboveground decline of potato shoots and generally results in unusable tubers. This disease has led to multi-million dollar losses for growers in the central and western United States over the past decade and impacts the livelihood of potato farmers in Mexico and New Zealand. ZC is associated with 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum', a fastidious alpha-proteobacterium that is transmitted by a phloem-feeding psyllid vector, Bactericera cockerelli Sulc. Research on this disease has been hampered by a lack of robust culture methods and paucity of genome sequence information for 'Ca. L. solanacearum'. Here we present the sequence of the 1.26 Mbp metagenome of 'Ca. L. solanacearum', based on DNA isolated from potato psyllids. The coding inventory of the 'Ca. L. solanacearum' genome was analyzed and compared to related Rhizobiaceae to better understand 'Ca. L. solanacearum' physiology and identify potential targets to develop improved treatment strategies. This analysis revealed a number of unique transporters and pathways, all potentially contributing to ZC pathogenesis. Some of these factors may have been acquired through horizontal gene transfer. Taxonomically, 'Ca. L. solanacearum' is related to 'Ca. L. asiaticus', a suspected causative agent of citrus huanglongbing, yet many genome rearrangements and several gene gains/losses are evident when comparing these two Liberibacter. species. Relative to 'Ca. L. asiaticus', 'Ca. L. solanacearum' probably has reduced capacity for nucleic acid modification, increased amino acid and vitamin biosynthesis functionalities, and gained a high-affinity iron transport system characteristic of several pathogenic microbes. Source


Bassanezi R.B.,Fundo de Defesa da Citricultura | Montesino L.H.,Fundo de Defesa da Citricultura | Gimenes-Fernandes N.,Fundo de Defesa da Citricultura | Yamamoto P.T.,University of Sao Paulo | And 3 more authors.
Plant Disease | Year: 2013

Huanglongbing (HLB), caused by 'Candidatus Liberibacter' spp. and transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri (ACP), is an important threat to citrus industries worldwide, causing significant yield loss. The current recommended strategies to manage HLB are to eliminate HLB-symptomatic trees to reduce sources of bacterial inoculum and to apply insecticides to reduce psyllid vector populations. The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness and the importance of both strategies applied within young citrus plots (local management), in different frequencies and combinations, on HLB temporal progress. Two factorial field experiments, E1 and E2, were initiated in a new plantation of sweet orange in an HLB epidemic region of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in October 2005 and May 2006, respectively. Local inoculum reduction (tree removal) intervals for E1 were every 4, 8, and 16 weeks and, for E2, every 2, 4, 12, and 26 weeks. Local vector control strategies for E1 were no control, program A (PA), and program B (PB); and, for E2, no control and program C (PC), as follows. Psyllids were controlled with two 56-day-interval soil or drench applications of systemic insecticides concurrently with the rainy season each year and, during the rest of the year, with insecticide sprays every 28 days for PA and every 14 days for PB and PC. Regional HLB management was present for E1 and absent for E2. The beginning of the HLB epidemic was delayed for 10 months in E1 compared with appearance of the first diseased tree in E2 but wasn't affected by different local strategies in either experiment. After 60 (E1) and 53 (E2) months, the HLB incidence and progress rates were not affected by different frequencies of local inoculum reduction in either experiment, and were different only in plots with and without local vector control in E2. In E1, the disease incidence was reduced by 90% and the disease progress rate by 50% in plots both with and without vector control. These reductions were explained by smaller psyllid populations and lower frequency of bacterialiferous psyllids in E1 compared with E2. Annual productivity increased over time in E1, as expected for young plantings, but remained stable or decreased in E2. These results confirm that immigration of bacterialiferous ACP vectors plays a critical role in HLB epidemics and suggest that area-wide inoculum reduction and ACP management strongly affect HLB control. © 2013 The American Phytopathological Society. Source


Zhang M.,University of Florida | Zhang M.,China Agricultural University | Powell C.A.,University of Florida | Guo Y.,University of Florida | And 2 more authors.
Phytopathology | Year: 2012

Zhang, M., Powell, C. A., Guo, Y., Doud, M. S., and Duan, Y. 2012. A graft-based chemotherapy method for screening effective molecules and rescuing huanglongbing-affected citrus plants. Phytopathology 102:567- 574. Huanglongbing (HLB) is the most devastating disease of citrus. The global citrus industry is in urgent need of effective chemical treatments for HLB control because of its rapid spreading worldwide. Due to the fastidious nature of the pathogens, and the poor permissibility of citrus leaf surfaces, effective screening of chemicals for the HLB control can be challenging. In this study, we developed a graft-based chemotherapy method to rapidly screen potential HLB-controlling chemical compounds. In addition, we improved transmission efficiency by using the best HLBaffected scion-rootstock combination, and demonstrated the HLB bacterial titer was the critical factor in transmission. The HLB-affected lemon scions had a high titer of HLB bacterium, survival rate (83.3%), and pathogen transmission rate (59.9%). Trifoliate, a widely used commercial rootstock, had the highest survival rate (>70.0%) compared with grapefruit (52.6%) and sour orange (50.4%). Using this method, we confirmed a mixture of penicillin and streptomycin was the most effective compounds in eliminating the HLB bacterium from the HLB-affected scions, and in successfully rescuing severely HLB-affected citrus germplasms. These findings are useful not only for chemical treatments but also for graft-based transmission studies in HLB and other Liberibacter diseases. © 2012 The American Phytopathological Society. Source


Zhang M.,University of Florida | Powell C.A.,University of Florida | Zhou L.,University of Florida | He Z.,University of Florida | And 2 more authors.
Phytopathology | Year: 2011

Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) is one of the most destructive diseases of citrus worldwide and is threatening the survival of the Floridian citrus industry. Currently, there is no established cure for this century-old and emerging disease. As a possible control strategy for citrus HLB, therapeutic compounds were screened using a propagation test system with 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus'-infected periwinkle and citrus plants. The results demonstrated that the combination of penicillin and streptomycin (PS) was effective in eliminating or suppressing the 'Ca. L. asiaticus' bacterium and provided a therapeutically effective level of control for a much longer period of time than when administering either antibiotic separately. When treated with the PS, 'Ca. L. asiaticus'-infected periwinkle cuttings achieved 70% of regeneration rates versus <50% by other treatments. The 'Ca. L. asiaticus' bacterial titers in the infected periwinkle plants, as measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, decreased significantly following root soaking or foliar spraying with PS. Application of the PS via trunk injection or root soaking also eliminated or suppressed the 'Ca. L. asiaticus' bacterium in the HLB-affected citrus plants. This may provide a useful tool for the management of citrus HLB and other Liberibacter-associated diseases. Source

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