CHARACTERIZATION OF A PUTATIVE INSECT-TRANSMISSION DETERMINANT/VIRULENCE GENE (HYPL) OF ‘CANDIDATUS LIBERIBACTER ASIATICUS’
Subtropical Plant Pathology Research
Project Number: 6034-22000-039-04
Start Date: May 01, 2010
End Date: Mar 31, 2013
Characterize the hypl gene and determine its effects on insect transmission and/or virulence in host plants. The objectives of the original proposal include: 1) determine the cellular localization of the Hypl protein within insect or plant cells and the efficacy of the two putative NLSs coded by the hypl gene; 2) determine the expression dynamics of hypl both in psyllids and plants (citrus and periwinkle) and elucidate its activity with respect to effector function; 3) develop new techniques for more sensitive detection and differentiation of Las bacteria based on the unique sequence and antigenicity of the hypl gene, and 4) develop transgenic citrus resistant to HLB by expressing plantibody against the Hypl protein.
Transient expression with alternative expression systems and RT-qPCR, etc., will be used to elucidate the function of the hypl gene of Las and shed the light on the molecular mechanism of this "phase variation" phenomenon and thereby develop a novel control strategy for citrus HLB. In addition, antibodies and probes along with standardized protocols, developed during this project can be applied for better detection and differentiation of the HLB bacteria.