Prophage Diversity of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ Strains in California

Dai et al. (2019). Phytopathology® 109 (4)
Names (1)
Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus
Agronomy and Crop Science Plant Science
Huanglongbing (HLB) is a highly destructive citrus disease and is associated with a nonculturable bacterium, ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’. ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ in the United States was first found in Florida in 2005 and is now endemic there. In California, ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ was first detected in Hacienda Heights in Los Angeles County in 2012 and has now been detected in multiple urban locations in southern California. Knowledge of ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ strain diversity in California is important for HLB management. In this study, genomic diversity among 10 ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ strains from six California locations were analyzed using a next-generation sequencing (NGS) (Illumina MiSeq and HiSeq) approach. Draft genome sequences of ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ strains were assembled. Sequences of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene and nrdB confirmed ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ identity. Prophages were detected in all ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ strains. The California ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ strains formed four prophage typing groups (PTGs): PTG1, with type 1 prophage only (strains from Anaheim, San Gabriel, and Riverside); PTG2, with type 2 prophage only (strains from Hacienda Heights); PTG1-3, with both type 1 and 3 prophages (a strain from Cerritos); and PTG1-2, with both type 1 and type 2 prophages (a strain from La Habra). Analyses of the terL sequence showed that all California ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ strains were not introduced from Florida but likely from locations in Asia. Miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements were found in all ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ strains, yet, a jumping-out event was detected in the ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ strain from Cerritos. Altogether, this study demonstrated that the NGS approach focusing on prophage variation was sensitive and effective in revealing diversity of ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ strains in California.
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