No Evidence of Apoptotic Response of the Potato Psyllid Bactericera cockerelli to "Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum" at the Gut Interface. Academic Article uri icon


  • "Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum" is a pathogen transmitted by the potato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli (ulc) (Hemiptera: Triozidae) in a persistent manner. In this study, we investigated the molecular interaction between "Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum" and the potato psyllid at the gut interface. Specifically, we focused on the apoptotic response of potato psyllids to the infection by two "Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum" haplotypes, LsoA and LsoB. To this end, we first quantified and localized "Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum" in the gut of adult psyllids. We then evaluated the existence of an apoptotic response in the insect gut using microscopy analyses to visualize the nuclei and the actin cytoskeleton of the gut cells and DNA fragmentation analyses by agarose gel electrophoresis. We also performed annexin V cell death assays to detect apoptosis. Finally, we annotated apoptosis-related genes from the potato psyllid transcriptome and evaluated their expression in response to "Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum" infection. The results showed no cellular markers of apoptosis despite the large amount of "Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum" present in the psyllid gut. In addition, only three genes potentially involved in apoptosis were regulated in the psyllid gut in response to "Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum": the apoptosis-inducing factor AIF3 was downregulated in LsoA-infected psyllids, while the inhibitor of apoptosis IAPP5 was downregulated and IAP6 was upregulated in LsoB-infected psyllids. Overall, no evidence of apoptosis was observed in the gut of potato psyllid adults in response to either "Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum" haplotype. This study represents a first step toward understanding the interactions between "Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum" and the potato psyllid, which is crucial to developing approaches to disrupt their transmission.

published proceedings

  • Infect Immun

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Tang, X., & Tamborindeguy, C.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Tang, Xiao-Tian||Tamborindeguy, Cecilia

editor list (cited editors)

  • Herbert, D. R.

publication date

  • December 2019