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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #368060

Research Project: Management and Biology of Arthropod Pests and Arthropod-borne Plant Pathogens

Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research

Title: Lessons from one fastidious bacterium to another: What can we learn about Liberibacter species from Xylella fastidiosa

item KRUSE, ANGELA - Cornell University
item Fleites, Laura
item Heck, Michelle

Submitted to: Insects
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/12/2019
Publication Date: 9/16/2019
Citation: Kruse, A., Fleites, L.A., Heck, M.L. 2019. Lessons from one fastidious bacterium to another: What can we learn about Liberibacter species from Xylella fastidiosa. Insects. 10(9):300.

Interpretive Summary: Citrus greening disease and Pierce’s disease share many biological similarities and are major economic threats to growers in the citrus and grape industries, respectively. Both diseases are caused by bacterial pathogens and spread by a sap-sucking insect vector. There is currently no effective strategy to manage citrus greening disease, whereas Pierce’s disease is well controlled. This paper compares research progress on these two important crop diseases and suggests new strategies and collaborations to manage these important plant diseases.

Technical Abstract: Huanglongbing is causing economic devastation to the citrus industry in Florida, and threatens the industry everywhere the bacterial pathogens in the ‘Candidatus’ Liberibacter genus and their insect vectors are found. Bacteria in the genus cannot be cultured and no durable strategy is available for growers to control plant infection or pathogen transmission. However, scientists and grape growers were once in a comparable situation after the emergence of Pierce’s disease, which is caused by Xylella fastidiosa and spread by its hemipteran insect vector. Proactive quarantine and vector control measures coupled with interdisciplinary data-driven science established control of this devastating disease and pushed the frontiers of knowledge in the plant pathology and vector biology fields. Our review highlights the successful strategies used to understand and control X. fastidiosa and their potential applicability to the liberibacters associated with citrus greening, with a focus on the interactions between the bacterial pathogens and insect vectors. By placing the study of C. Liberibacter spp. within the current and historical context of another fastidious emergent plant pathogen, future basic and applied research to develop control strategies can be prioritized.