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Insights into Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus Pathogenicity and Biology

Erica Watson Carter: University of Florida

<div><strong>Insights into <em>Candidatus </em>Liberibacter asiaticus Pathogenicity and Biology</strong></p> <p>Erica W Carter, Nian Wang</p> <p>Citrus Research and Education Center, Department of Plant Pathology, Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Lake Alfred, FL 33850, USA</p> <p><sup>*</sup>Corresponding author: Nian Wang, 700 experiment station road, Lake Alfred, FL 33850</p> <p>Tel: 01-8639568828, fax: 01-8639564631, email:<;/p> <p> </p> <p> Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) is now the most devastating citrus disease worldwide which is caused by the α-proteobacteria <em>Candidatus </em>Liberibacter. The most prevalent species that has been associated with HLB is <em>Candidatus </em>Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), and the most important species, in terms of pathogenicity, to study. Our understanding of the biology and pathogenicity of CLas has been hampered by the difficulty to cultivate the pathogen and traditional genetic study could not be performed. In this study, we will present our progress in understanding the biology and pathogenicity of CLas. Specifically, we will focus on the secretion systems and putative effector proteins and transporters. CLas is known to have 40 ABC-type transporters, some of which are part of the TISS. In addition to the genes encoding the inner-membrane ABC transporter in the TISS, there are also periplasmic-membrane fusion proteins and an outer-membrane porins; coded by genes: HlyD [COG0845], PrtD [COG4618], TolC [COG1538]). Also found by comparative genomics, are putative type effectors, such as an RTX toxin hemolysin (COG1253) in close proximity to the TISS genes. Here we explore the relative amount of gene and protein expression between the two systems, both effector and secretion system associated genes, to determine their role together in comparison to the virulent pathogen.</div>