Submitted to: International Research Conference on Huanglongbing
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/8/2019
Publication Date: 3/10/2019
Citation: Lin, H., Duan, Y., Shi, X. 2019. Molecular therapy targets for Huanglongbing. International Research Conference on Huanglongbing. Presented at the 2019 International Research Conferencce on Huanglongbing, March 12-15, 2019, Riverside, CA.
Technical Abstract: The goal of this research was to develop a short-term practical approach to mitigating huanglongbing (HLB). An orthologous gene replacement technique was developed to functionally characterize key virulence genes/factors of unculturable ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas), the causal agent of HLB. Next, a chemical library representing potential anti-virulence molecules was screened to identify putative anti-virulence molecules through in vitro bioassays. The efficacy of selected anti-virulence molecules targeting on CLas was then validated through greenhouse experiments in which HLB-affected citrus and CLas-infected periwinkle plants were foliar-sprayed with various concentrations of the selected anti-virulence compounds. Results demonstrated that plants treated with anti-virulence molecules showed alleviated symptoms and new growth. CLas cell titers were also reduced compared to the untreated plants measured via quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Preliminary evidence suggests that the anti-CLas therapeutic approach could have a potential application to mitigate the effect of HLB.