Genetic Structure and Molecular Variability Analysis of Citrus sudden death-associated virus Isolates from Infected Plants Grown in Brazil.
ABSTRACT: Citrus sudden death-associated virus (CSDaV) is a monopartite positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus that was suggested to be associated with citrus sudden death (CSD) disease in Brazil. Here, we report the first study of the genetic structure and molecular variability among 31 CSDaV isolates collected from both symptomatic and asymptomatic trees in CSD-affected areas. Analyses of partial nucleotide sequences of five domains of the CSDaV genomic RNA, including those encoding for the methyltransferase, the multi-domain region (MDR), the helicase, the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and the coat protein, showed that the MDR coding region was the most diverse region assessed here, and a possible association between this region and virus adaption to different host or plant tissues is considered. Overall, the nucleotide diversity (?) was low for CSDaV isolates, but the phylogenetic analyses revealed the predominance of two main groups, one of which showed a higher association with CSD-symptomatic plants. Isolates obtained from CSD-symptomatic plants, compared to those obtained from asymptomatic plants, showed higher nucleotide diversity, nonsynonymous and synonymous substitution rates and number of amino acid changes on the coding regions located closer to the 5' end region of the genomic RNA. This work provides new insights into the genetic diversity of the CSDaV, giving support for further epidemiological studies.
Project description:Citrus sudden death (CSD) has caused the death of approximately four million orange trees in a very important citrus region in Brazil. Although its etiology is still not completely clear, symptoms and distribution of affected plants indicate a viral disease. In a search for viruses associated with CSD, we have performed a comparative high-throughput sequencing analysis of the transcriptome and small RNAs from CSD-symptomatic and -asymptomatic plants using the Illumina platform. The data revealed mixed infections that included Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) as the most predominant virus, followed by the Citrus sudden death-associated virus (CSDaV), Citrus endogenous pararetrovirus (CitPRV) and two putative novel viruses tentatively named Citrus jingmen-like virus (CJLV), and Citrus virga-like virus (CVLV). The deep sequencing analyses were sensitive enough to differentiate two genotypes of both viruses previously associated with CSD-affected plants: CTV and CSDaV. Our data also showed a putative association of the CSD-symptomatic plants with a specific CSDaV genotype and a likely association with CitPRV as well, whereas the two putative novel viruses showed to be more associated with CSD-asymptomatic plants. This is the first high-throughput sequencing-based study of the viral sequences present in CSD-affected citrus plants, and generated valuable information for further CSD studies.
Project description:Citrus sudden death-associated virus (CSDaV) is a member of the genus Marafivirus in the family Tymoviridae, and has been associated with citrus sudden death (CSD) disease in Brazil. Difficulties in the purification of CSDaV from infected citrus plants have prevented progress in the investigation of the role of this virus in CSD and an understanding of its molecular biology. In this work, we have constructed a full-length cDNA clone of CSDaV driven by the 35S promoter (35SRbz-CSDaV). Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated inoculation of 35SRbz-CSDaV in Nicotiana benthamiana plants enabled a fast recovery of large amounts of virions from the agroinfiltrated leaves, which allowed a better molecular characterization of CSDaV. In vivo analyses of mutant versions of 35SRbz-CSDaV revealed the expression strategies used by CSDaV for production of the capsid proteins (CPs). We showed that CSDaV virions contain three forms of CP, each of which is generated from the same coding sequence, but by different mechanisms. The major CPp21 is a product of direct translation by leaky scanning from the second start codon in the subgenomic RNA (sgRNA), whereas the minor CPs, p25 and p23, are produced by direct translation from the first start codon in the sgRNA and by trans-proteolytic cleavage processing derived from the p25 precursor, respectively. Together, these findings contribute to advance our understanding of CSDaV genome expression strategies. In addition, the construction and characterization of the CSDaV infectious clone represent important steps towards the investigation of the role of this virus in CSD and of its use as a tool for citrus biotechnology.
Project description:Citrus sudden death (CSD) is a new disease that has killed approximately 1 million orange trees in Brazil. Here we report the identification of a new virus associated with the disease. RNAs isolated from CSD-affected and nonaffected trees were used to construct cDNA libraries. A set of viral sequences present exclusively in libraries of CSD-affected trees was used to obtain the complete genome sequence of the new virus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that this virus is a new member of the genus Marafivirus. Antibodies raised against the putative viral coat proteins allowed detection of viral antigens of expected sizes in affected plants. Electron microscopy of purified virus confirmed the presence of typical isometric Marafivirus particles. The screening of 773 affected and nonaffected citrus trees for the presence of the virus showed a 99.7% correlation between disease symptoms and the presence of the virus. We also detected the virus in aphids feeding on affected trees. These results suggest that this virus is likely to be the causative agent of CSD. The virus was named Citrus sudden death-associated virus.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Citrus sudden death (CSD), a disease that rapidly kills orange trees, is an emerging threat to the Brazilian citrus industry. Although the causal agent of CSD has not been definitively determined, based on the disease's distribution and symptomatology it is suspected that the agent may be a new strain of Citrus tristeza virus (CTV). CTV genetic variation was therefore assessed in two Brazilian orange trees displaying CSD symptoms and a third with more conventional CTV symptoms. RESULTS: A total of 286 RNA-dependent-RNA polymerase (RdRp) and 284 heat shock protein 70 homolog (HSP70h) gene fragments were determined for CTV variants infecting the three trees. It was discovered that, despite differences in symptomatology, the trees were all apparently coinfected with similar populations of divergent CTV variants. While mixed CTV infections are common, the genetic distance between the most divergent population members observed (24.1% for RdRp and 11.0% for HSP70h) was far greater than that in previously described mixed infections. Recombinants of five distinct RdRp lineages and three distinct HSP70h lineages were easily detectable but respectively accounted for only 5.9 and 11.9% of the RdRp and HSP70h gene fragments analysed and there was no evidence of an association between particular recombinant mosaics and CSD. Also, comparisons of CTV population structures indicated that the two most similar CTV populations were those of one of the trees with CSD and the tree without CSD. CONCLUSION: We suggest that if CTV is the causal agent of CSD, it is most likely a subtle feature of population structures within mixed infections and not merely the presence (or absence) of a single CTV variant within these populations that triggers the disease.
Project description:Species of Diaporthe are considered important plant pathogens, saprobes, and endophytes on a wide range of plant hosts. Several species are well-known on citrus, either as agents of pre- or post-harvest infections, such as dieback, melanose and stem-end rot on fruit. In this study we explored the occurrence, diversity and pathogenicity of Diaporthe species associated with Citrus and allied genera in European orchards, nurseries, and gardens. Surveys were carried out during 2015 and 2016 in Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, and Spain. A total of 79 Diaporthe strains were isolated from symptomatic twigs, branches and trunks. A multi-locus phylogeny was established based on five genomic loci (ITS, tef1, cal, his3 and tub2), and the morphological characters of the isolates determined. Preliminary pathogenicity tests were performed on lemon, lime, and orange plants with representative isolates. The most commonly isolated species were D. foeniculina and D. baccae, while only four isolates of D. novem were collected. Two new Diaporthe species, described here as D. limonicola and D. melitensis spp. nov. were found associated with a new devastating dieback disease of lemon plants. Furthermore, one cluster of sterile Diaporthe isolates was renamed as D. infertilis. Pathogenicity tests revealed most of the Citrus species as susceptible to D. baccae, D. foeniculina, and D. novem. Moreover, D. limonicola and D. melitensis caused serious cankers affecting all the Citrus species tested. This study is the first report of D. baccae and D. novem on citrus in Europe, and the first detection of a new Diaporthe canker disease of citrus in Europe. However, no isolates of D. citri were found. The study improves our understanding of the species associated with several disease symptoms on citrus plants, and provides useful information for effective disease management.
Project description:The bacterial diversity associated with citrus leaf midribs was characterized for citrus groves that contained the Huanglongbing (HLB) pathogen, which has yet to be cultivated in vitro. We employed a combination of high-density phylogenetic 16S rRNA gene microarrays and 16S rRNA gene clone library sequencing to determine the microbial community composition for symptomatic and asymptomatic citrus midribs. Our results revealed that citrus leaf midribs can support a diversity of microbes. PhyloChip analysis indicated that 47 orders of bacteria in 15 phyla were present in the citrus leaf midribs, while 20 orders in 8 phyla were observed with the cloning and sequencing method. PhyloChip arrays indicated that nine taxa were significantly more abundant in symptomatic midribs than in asymptomatic midribs. "Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus" was detected at a very low level in asymptomatic plants but was over 200 times more abundant in symptomatic plants. The PhyloChip analysis results were further verified by sequencing 16S rRNA gene clone libraries, which indicated the dominance of "Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus" in symptomatic leaves. These data implicate "Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus" as the pathogen responsible for HLB disease.
Project description:The native microbiomes of citrus trees play important roles in plant health, with good communication between the native microbiome and the host plant. Here, we report on the native endophytes in 24 citrus varieties in nine citrus growing regions in China; some of the trees were healthy and others had asymptomatic or symptomatic huanglongbing, which is caused by the pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). We used culture-dependent analysis and characterized the isolates by partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The endophytes were compared between different citrus varieties, regions, and disease states (healthy, asymptomatic, and symptomatic). The total number of endophytes isolated from most of the citrus varieties was 104-106 CFU/g of leaves, but it differed significantly by disease state, with the highest numbers in the healthy leaves and the lowest in the symptomatic leaves (p?<?0.05). Among the citrus varieties, the Valencia variety had the maximum number of endophyte species (22). The most dominant endophytes were Bacillus subtilis, B. velezensis, Curtobacterium luteum, and Microbacterium testaceum. The higher frequency of B. subtilis in the healthy/asymptomatic plants compared to the symptomatic plants suggests that it has a role in huanglongbing resistance. Native endophyte communities in various citrus varieties could be used to improve citrus growth and combat CLas.
Project description:Citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC) is caused by Xylella fastidiosa, a phytopathogenic bacterium that can infect all Citrus sinensis cultivars. The endophytic bacterial communities of healthy, resistant, and CVC-affected citrus plants were studied by using cultivation as well as cultivation-independent techniques. The endophytic communities were assessed in surface-disinfected citrus branches by plating and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Dominant isolates were characterized by fatty-acid methyl ester analysis as Bacillus pumilus, Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens, Enterobacter cloacae, Methylobacterium spp. (including Methylobacterium extorquens, M. fujisawaense, M. mesophilicum, M. radiotolerans, and M. zatmanii), Nocardia sp., Pantoea agglomerans, and Xanthomonas campestris. We observed a relationship between CVC symptoms and the frequency of isolation of species of Methylobacterium, the genus that we most frequently isolated from symptomatic plants. In contrast, we isolated C. flaccumfaciens significantly more frequently from asymptomatic plants than from those with symptoms of CVC while P. agglomerans was frequently isolated from tangerine (Citrus reticulata) and sweet-orange (C. sinensis) plants, irrespective of whether the plants were symptomatic or asymptomatic or showed symptoms of CVC. DGGE analysis of 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from total plant DNA resulted in several bands that matched those from the bacterial isolates, indicating that DGGE profiles can be used to detect some endophytic bacteria of citrus plants. However, some bands had no match with any isolate, suggesting the occurrence of other, nonculturable or as yet uncultured, endophytic bacteria. A specific band with a high G+C ratio was observed only in asymptomatic plants. The higher frequency of C. flaccumfaciens in asymptomatic plants suggests a role for this organism in the resistance of plants to CVC.
Project description:Citrus Tristeza Virus (CTV) is the most economically important virus of citrus worldwide. Genetic diversity and population structure of CTV isolates from all citrus growing areas from Uruguay were analyzed by RT-PCR and cloning of the three RNA silencing suppressor genes (p25, p20 and p23). Bayesian phylogenetic analysis revealed the circulation of three known genotypes (VT, T3, T36) in the country, and the presence of a new genetic lineage composed by isolates from around the world, mainly from South America. Nucleotide and amino acid identity values for this new genetic lineage were both higher than 97% for the three analyzed regions. Due to incongruent phylogenetic relationships, recombination analysis was performed using Genetic Algorithms for Recombination Detection (GARD) and SimPlot software. Recombination events between previously described CTV isolates were detected. High intra-sample variation was found, confirming the co-existence of different genotypes into the same plant. This is the first report describing: (1) the genetic diversity of Uruguayan CTV isolates circulating in the country and (2) the circulation of a novel CTV genetic lineage, highly present in the South American region. This information may provide assistance to develop an effective cross-protection program.
Project description:Viroids are small (246-401 nucleotides), single-stranded, circular RNA molecules that infect several crop plants and can cause diseases of economic importance. Citrus are the hosts in which the largest number of viroids have been identified. Citrus exocortis viroid (CEVd), the causal agent of citrus exocortis disease, induces considerable losses in citrus crops. Changes in the gene expression profile during the early (pre-symptomatic) and late (post-symptomatic) stages of Etrog citron infected with CEVd were investigated using a citrus cDNA microarray. MaSigPro analysis was performed and, on the basis of gene expression profiles as a function of the time after infection, the differentially expressed genes were classified into five clusters. FatiScan analysis revealed significant enrichment of functional categories for each cluster, indicating that viroid infection triggers important changes in chloroplast, cell wall, peroxidase and symporter activities.