Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Plant Biology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

The effect of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ infection on the proteomic profiles and nutritional status of pre-symptomatic and symptomatic grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) plants

Chika C Nwugo1, Hong Lin1*, Yongping Duan2 and Edwin L Civerolo1

Author Affiliations

1 San Joaquin valley Agricultural Sciences Center, USDA-ARS Parlier, California, 93648, USA

2 USDA-ARS-USHRL, Fort Pierce, Florida, 34945, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Plant Biology 2013, 13:59  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-13-59

Published: 11 April 2013

Abstract

Background

Huanglongbing (HLB) is a highly destructive citrus disease which threatens citrus production worldwide and ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (Las), a non-culturable phloem-limited bacterium, is an associated causal agent of the disease. To better understand the physiological and molecular processes involved in host responses to Las, 2-DE and mass spectrometry analyses, as well as ICP spectroscopy analysis were employed to elucidate the global protein expression profiles and nutrient concentrations in leaves of Las-infected grapefruit plants at pre-symptomatic or symptomatic stages for HLB.

Results

This study identified 123 protein spots out of 191 spots that showed significant changes in the leaves of grapefruit plants in response to Las infection and all identified spots matched to 69 unique proteins/peptides. A down-regulation of 56 proteins including those associated with photosynthesis, protein synthesis, and metabolism was correlated with significant reductions in the concentrations of Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Mn, and Cu in leaves of grapefruit plants in response to Las infection, particularly in symptomatic plants. Oxygen-evolving enhancer (OEE) proteins, a PSI 9 kDa protein, and a Btf3-like protein were among a small group of proteins that were down-regulated in both pre-symptomatic and symptomatic plants in response to Las infection. Furthermore, a Las-mediated up-regulation of 13 grapefruit proteins was detected, which included Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase, chitinases, lectin-related proteins, miraculin-like proteins, peroxiredoxins and a CAP 160 protein. Interestingly, a Las-mediated up-regulation of granule-bound starch synthase was correlated with an increase in the K concentrations of pre-symptomatic and symptomatic plants.

Conclusions

This study constitutes the first attempt to characterize the interrelationships between protein expression and nutritional status of Las-infected pre-symptomatic or symptomatic grapefruit plants and sheds light on the physiological and molecular mechanisms associated with HLB disease development.

Keywords:
Grapefruit; Huanglongbing; Proteomics; Nutrients; Host response