Interaction between the flagellum of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus and the vitellogenin-like protein of Diaphorina citri significantly influences CLas titer

Peng et al. (2023). Frontiers in Microbiology 14
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Microbiology Microbiology (medical)
Huanglongbing (HLB) is a global devastating citrus disease that is mainly caused by “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas). It is mostly transmitted by the insect Asian citrus psyllid (ACP, Diaphorina citri) in a persistent and proliferative manner. CLas traverses multiple barriers to complete an infection cycle and is likely involved in multiple interactions with D. citri. However, the protein–protein interactions between CLas and D. citri are largely unknown. Here, we report on a vitellogenin-like protein (Vg_VWD) in D. citri that interacts with a CLas flagellum (flaA) protein. We found that Vg_VWD was upregulated in CLas-infected D. citri. Silencing of Vg_VWD in D. citri via RNAi silencing significantly increased the CLas titer, suggesting that Vg_VWD plays an important role in the CLas–D. citri interaction. Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression assays indicated that Vg_VWD inhibits BAX- and INF1-triggered necrosis and suppresses the callose deposition induced by flaA in Nicotiana benthamiana. These findings provide new insights into the molecular interaction between CLas and D. citri.
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