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Comparative microbiome analysis reveals bacterial communities associated with Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus infection in the Huanglongbing insect vector Diaphorina citri

Kai Liu, Rui Pang, Zi-ying Guan, Ming-zhao Zhong, Jia-wei He, Qun-xin Han
Journal of Asia-Pacific entomology 2022 v.25 no.2 pp. 101884
Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, Citrus, Diaphorina citri, Enterobacteriaceae, Wolbachia, digestive system, endosymbionts, entomology, greening disease, immunity, industry, insect vectors, microbiome, multidimensional scaling, pathogens, pests, species diversity
The Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) is a major pest of the citrus industry and is also the vector for Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), a destructive Huanglongbing (HLB) disease of citrus trees. Insect endosymbionts and gut bacteria play important roles in vector-pathogen interactions and host immunity. Thus, our aim was to evaluate the correlation between CLas infection and the microbiome in D. citri by conducting 16S rRNA amplification sequencing on insects successfully and unsuccessfully infected with CLas (CLas-infected and non-infected). Genera Candidatus Profftella, Wolbachia, and Candidatus Carsonella were highly abundant genera in all tested samples. Compared with the non-infected and control groups, CLas-infected samples harboured more observed OTUs and showed higher alpha diversity metrics. Principal coordinate analysis based on beta-diversity metrics indicated two distinct clusters between the CLas-infected samples and non-infected/control samples. Subsequent LEfSe analysis revealed that Candidatus Profftella was more abundant in the non-infected group than in the control and CLas-infected groups. The interaction network also indicated a co-exclusion relationship between Candidatus Profftella and CLas, while CLas co-existed with Wolbachia, several Enterobacteriaceae spp., and multiple other bacteria. Our study provides insight into the interaction between the microbiome community in D. citri and CLas, which can facilitate the management of this pest and its associated pathogen.