Contrasting amino acid profiles among permissive and non-permissive hosts of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, putative causal agent of Huanglongbing. Academic Article uri icon


  • Huanglongbing is a devastating disease of citrus. In this study, a comprehensive profile of phloem sap amino acids (AA) in four permissive host plants of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) and three non-permissive Rutaceae plants was conducted to gain a better understanding of host factors that may promote or suppress the bacterium. The AA profiles of Diaphorina citri nymphs and adults were similarly analyzed. A total of 38 unique AAs were detected in phloem sap of the various plants and D. citri samples, with phloem sap of young shoots containing more AAs and at higher concentrations than their mature counterparts. All AAs detected in phloem sap of non-permissive plants were also present in CLas -permissive hosts plus additional AAs in the latter class of plants. However, the relative composition of 18 commonly shared AAs varied between CLas -permissive hosts and non-permissive plants. Multivariate analysis with a partial least square discriminant methodology revealed a total of 12 AAs as major factors affecting CLas host status, of which seven were positively related to CLas tolerance/resistance and five positively associated with CLas susceptibility. Most of the AAs positively associated with CLas susceptibility were predominantly of the glutamate family, notably stressed-induced AAs such as arginine, GABA and proline. In contrast, AAs positively correlated with CLas tolerance/resistance were mainly of the serine family. Further analysis revealed that whereas the relative proportions of AAs positively associated with CLas susceptibility did not vary with host developmental stages, those associated with CLas tolerance/resistance increased with flush shoot maturity. Significantly, the proline-to-glycine ratio was determined to be an important discriminating factor for CLas permissivity with higher values characteristic of CLas -permissive hosts. This ratio could be exploited as a biomarker in HLB-resistance breeding programs.

published proceedings

  • PLoS One

author list (cited authors)

  • Stamou, M., Alabi, O. J., Simpson, C. R., & Jifon, J. L.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • S├ętamou, Mamoudou||Alabi, Olufemi J||Simpson, Catherine R||Jifon, John L

editor list (cited editors)

  • Tatineni, S.

publication date

  • December 2017