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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Metabolite signature of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus infection in two citrus varieties.

  • Author(s): Chin, Elizabeth L
  • Mishchuk, Darya O
  • Breksa, Andrew P
  • Slupsky, Carolyn M
  • et al.

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Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as Citrus Greening Disease, is caused by the bacterium 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' (CLas) and is a serious threat to the citrus industry. To understand the effect of CLas infection on the citrus metabolome, juice from healthy (n = 18), HLB-asymptomatic (n = 18), and HLB-symptomatic Hamlin (n = 18), as well as from healthy (n = 18) and HLB-symptomatic (n = 18) Valencia sweet oranges (from southern and eastern Florida) were evaluated using (1)H NMR-based metabolomics. Differences in the concentration of several metabolites including phenylalanine, histidine, limonin, and synephrine between control or asymptomatic fruit and symptomatic fruit were observed regardless of the citrus variety or location. There were no clear differences between the metabolite profiles of Hamlin fruits classified by PCR as asymptomatic and control, suggesting that some of the control fruit may have been infected. Taken together, these data indicate that infection due to CLas presents a strong metabolic response that is observed across different cultivars and regions, suggesting the potential for generation of metabolite-based biomarkers of CLas infection.

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