Sclerenchymatous ring as a barrier to phloem feeding by Asian citrus psyllid: Evidence from electrical penetration graph and visualization of stylet pathwaysReportar como inadecuado

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Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri feeding behaviors play a significant role in the transmission of the phloem-limited Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus CLas bacterium that causes the economically devastating citrus greening disease. Sustained phloem ingestion by D. citri on CLas infected plants is required for pathogen acquisition and transmission. Recent studies have shown a fibrous ring of thick-walled sclerenchyma around the phloem in mature, fully expanded citrus leaves that is more prominent on the abaxial compared with the adaxial side. The composition and thickness of this fibrous ring may have an important role in selection of feeding sites by D. citri based on leaf age and leaf surface, which in turn can affect pathogen acquisition and transmission. We measured feeding behavior using electrical penetration graph EPG recordings of individual D. citri adults placed on abaxial or adaxial surfaces of young or mature Valencia orange leaves to study the role of the sclerenchymatous ring in modifying D. citri feeding behavior. Feeding sites on the same leaf tissues were then sectioned and examined by epifluorescence microscopy. The duration of phloem ingestion E2 waveform by psyllids was significantly reduced on mature compared with young leaves, and on abaxial compared with adaxial leaf surfaces. The longest duration of phloem ingestion was observed from psyllids placed on the adaxial side of young leaves that had the least developed sclerenchyma. Bouts of phloem salivation E1 waveform, however, were significantly longer on mature leaves compared with young leaves. D. citri adults made consecutive phloem feeding attempts bouts on the abaxial side of mature leaves and those bouts resulted in unsuccessful or shorter periods of phloem ingestion. Adults also made more frequent and longer bouts of xylem ingestion on mature leaves compared with adult psyllids placed on young leaves. Epifluorescence microscopy showed that the fibrous ring in young leaves was thinner and autofluoresced in red whereas the ring in mature leaves was thicker and autofluoresced in blue, indicating changes in structure and composition e.g., lignification of sclerenchyma correlated with leaf age. Our results support the hypothesis that the presence of a thick, well-developed fibrous ring around phloem tissues of mature leaves acts as a barrier to frequent or prolonged phloem ingestion by D. citri from citrus leaves. This may have an important role in limiting or preventing CLas acquisition and-or transmission by D. citri, and could be used for identification and development of resistant citrus cultivars.

Autor: Justin George, El-Desouky Ammar, David G. Hall, Stephen L. Lapointe



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