Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2013
Publication Date: 8/10/2013
Citation: Chowdhury, M., Gross, D., Lin, H. 2013. Functional characterization of virulence genes of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’, the bacterium associated with Potato Zebra Chip (ZC) Disease. American Phytopathological Society Abstracts. 103:S2.125. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Zebra chip (ZC), an economically important disease of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), is caused by ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso). The disease is transmitted by a psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli). While the causal agent has been identified, factors associated with the virulence of the disease are largely unknown. With the availability of the genome sequences of the bacterium, putative virulence genes were identified. Based on the sequence analysis, a putative zinc transport system (ZnuABC), iron transport and accumulation system (ITA) and salicylate hydroxylase were selected for functional characterization. To help identify the function of these gene clusters, a Gateway vector was used for RNA interference of these genes which can be used for Agrobacterium transformation. A similar vector was also used for transient suppression of gene function. These vectors can provide some insights into the functionality of the predicted genes. Since all potato cultivars are susceptible to ZC and no transgenic potatoes with R genes showed promising resistance against the disease, RNAi targeting Lso pathogenicity genes provides a novel approach to controlling ZC disease.