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Poster: Biology & Disease Mgmt: Biological Control


The Role of the Citrus Microbiome in Tree Health and Tolerance to Pathogens
N. GINNAN (1), T. Dang (2), P. Ruegger (2), J. Borneman (2), P. Rolshausen (2), G. Vidalakis (2), S. Bodaghi (2), M. Roper (2) (1) University of California Riverside - Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, U.S.A.; (2) University of California Ri

There is compelling evidence that the health of an animal or plant is linked to the structure and activities of its associated microbiome. The goal of this project is to identify naturally occurring microbes or consortia of microbes that either directly or indirectly protect citrus trees from plant pathogens. We have, thus far, isolated and identified the culturable microbes of the roots, leaves, and budwood of citrus trees collected from California and Florida. We isolated both fungi and bacteria, and sequenced the amplified 16S rRNA gene from bacteria and the ITS region of the ribosomal operon from fungi for microbial identification. A culture-independent analysis of the citrus microbiome using an Illumina MiSeq platform has also allowed us to reveal a more comprehensive view of the microbial communities that inhabit citrus. We hypothesize that the citrus microbiome and their associated metabolomes can be used to reduce or prevent colonization of citrus pathogens, such as Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). We are currently screening compounds produced by these isolated citrus microbes for inhibitory properties against CLas. We envision the discovery of bactericide producing microbes that could be directly transferred and established on trees, or the naturally produced bactericide could be purified and applied to combat Clas and/or other pathogens.