Host Plant Adaptation Drives Changes in Diaphorina citri Proteome Regulation, Proteoform Expression, and Transmission of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’, the Citrus Greening Pathogen

Ramsey et al. (2022). Phytopathology® 112 (1)
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Agronomy and Crop Science Plant Science
The Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) is a pest of citrus and the primary insect vector of the bacterial pathogen, ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas), which is associated with citrus greening disease. The citrus relative Murraya paniculata (orange jasmine) is a host plant of D. citri but is more resistant to CLas compared with all tested Citrus genotypes. The effect of host switching of D. citri between Citrus medica (citron) and M. paniculata plants on the acquisition and transmission of CLas was investigated. The psyllid CLas titer and the proportion of CLas-infected psyllids decreased in the generations after transfer from CLas-infected citron to healthy M. paniculata plants. Furthermore, after several generations of feeding on M. paniculata, pathogen acquisition (20 to 40% reduction) and transmission rates (15 to 20% reduction) in psyllids transferred to CLas-infected citron were reduced compared with psyllids continually maintained on infected citron. Top-down (difference gel electrophoresis) and bottom-up (shotgun MS/MS) proteomics methods were used to identify changes in D. citri protein expression resulting from host plant switching between Citrus macrophylla and M. paniculata. Changes in expression of insect metabolism, immunity, and cytoskeleton proteins were associated with host plant switching. Both transient and sustained feeding on M. paniculata induced distinct patterns of protein expression in D. citri compared with psyllids reared on C. macrophylla. The results point to complex interactions that affect vector competence and may lead to strategies to control the spread of citrus greening disease.
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