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Effects of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus on the fitness of the vector Diaphorina citri

Ren, S.‐L., Li, Y.‐H., Zhou, Y.‐T., Xu, W.‐M., Cuthbertson, A.G.S., Guo, Y.‐J., Qiu, B.‐L.
Journal of applied microbiology 2016 v.121 no.6 pp. 1718-1726
Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, Citrus, Diaphorina citri, Psyllidae, adults, bacteria, disease control, disease incidence, fecundity, females, greening disease, host plants, immatures, insects, longevity, population growth, shoots
AIMS: The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama transmits the bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (Las), which causes citrus huanglongbing (HLB) disease. Although many studies have been conducted on the biology of ACP on different host plants, few have taken the plant, Las bacteria and the vector insect within one context to evaluate the effects of Las on the fitness of ACP under field conditions. Understanding the relationship between Las and ACP is critical for both ACP and HLB disease management. METHODS AND RESULTS: We estimated the development and survival of ACP immatures, the longevity and fecundity of ACP female adults in four treatments (Las‐positive or ‐negative ACP on Las‐infected and ‐free citrus plants). Las‐positive ACP immatures developed significantly faster on Las‐infected citrus than those on Las‐free plants. The fecundity and longevity of Las‐positive female adults were also greater, or longer on Las‐infected citrus shoots, whereas the survival of Las‐positive immatures was significantly lower on Las‐infected citrus shoots, compared to those that developed on Las‐free plants. Similarly, the intrinsic rate of population increase (rₘ) was highest (0·1404) when Las‐positive ACP fed on Las‐infected citrus shoots and the lowest (0·1328) when the Las‐negative ACP fed on Las‐free citrus shoots. CONCLUSIONS: Both the Las infection in ACP and citrus plants had obvious effects on the biology of ACP. When compared to the Las infection in ACP insects, the Las infection in citrus shoots had a more significant effect on the fitness of ACP. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: To efficiently prevent the occurrence and spread of HLB disease, it is critical to understand the ecological basis of vector outbreaks and disease incidence, especially under field conditions. Thus, this study has increased our understanding of the epidemiology of HLB transmitted by psyllids in nature.