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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: EMERGING DISEASES OF CITRUS, VEGETABLES, AND ORNAMENTALS

Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

Title: Validation of ‘Variable Number of Tandem Repeat’ analysis and its applications for examination of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ populations in areas of recent introduction

Authors
item Matos, Luis -
item Hilf, Mark
item Chen, Jianchi
item Folimonova, Svetlana -

Submitted to: PLoS One
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 25, 2013
Publication Date: November 1, 2013
Citation: Matos, L.A., Hilf, M.E., Chen, J., Folimonova, S.Y. 2013. Validation of ‘Variable Number of Tandem Repeat’ analysis and its applications for examination of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ populations in areas of recent introduction. PLoS One. 8-11:e78994.

Interpretive Summary: Citrus greening (Huanglongbing, HLB) is one of the most destructive diseases of citrus worldwide. In South Asia HLB has been known for more than a century, while in Americas the disease was found relatively recently. HLB is associated with three species of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter’ among which ‘Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas) has most wide distribution. Recently, a number of studies identified different regions in the CLas genome with variable number of tandem repeats (VNTRs) that could be used for examination of CLas diversity. One of the objectives of the work presented here was to further validate the VNTR analysis-based approach by assessing the stability of these repeats upon multiplication of the pathogen in a host over an extended period of time and upon its passaging from a host to a host using CLas populations from Florida. Our results showed that the numbers of tandem repeats in the four loci tested display very distinguishable “signature profiles” for the two Florida-type CLas haplotype groups. Remarkably, the profiles do not change upon passage of the pathogen in citrus and psyllid hosts as well as after its presence within a host over a period of five years, suggesting that VNTR analysis-based approach represents a valid methodology for examination of the pathogen populations in various geographical regions. Interestingly, an extended analysis of CLas populations in different locations throughout Florida and in several countries in the Caribbean and Central America regions and in Mexico where the pathogen has been introduced recently demonstrated the dispersion of the same haplotypes of CLas. On the other hand, these CLas populations appeared to differ significantly from those obtained from locations where the disease has been present for a much longer time.

Technical Abstract: Citrus greening (Huanglongbing, HLB) is one of the most destructive diseases of citrus worldwide. In South Asia HLB has been known for more than a century, while in Americas the disease was found relatively recently. HLB is associated with three species of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter’ among which ‘Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas) has most wide distribution. Recently, a number of studies identified different regions in the CLas genome with variable number of tandem repeats (VNTRs) that could be used for examination of CLas diversity. One of the objectives of the work presented here was to further validate the VNTR analysis-based approach by assessing the stability of these repeats upon multiplication of the pathogen in a host over an extended period of time and upon its passaging from a host to a host using CLas populations from Florida. Our results showed that the numbers of tandem repeats in the four loci tested display very distinguishable “signature profiles” for the two Florida-type CLas haplotype groups. Remarkably, the profiles do not change upon passage of the pathogen in citrus and psyllid hosts as well as after its presence within a host over a period of five years, suggesting that VNTR analysis-based approach represents a valid methodology for examination of the pathogen populations in various geographical regions. Interestingly, an extended analysis of CLas populations in different locations throughout Florida and in several countries in the Caribbean and Central America regions and in Mexico where the pathogen has been introduced recently demonstrated the dispersion of the same haplotypes of CLas. On the other hand, these CLas populations appeared to differ significantly from those obtained from locations where the disease has been present for a much longer time.

Last Modified: 12/27/2014
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