Evaluation of Candidatus Liberibacter Asiaticus Efflux Pump Inhibition by Antimicrobial Peptides. Academic Article uri icon


  • Citrus greening, also known as Huanglongbing (HLB), is caused by the unculturable bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter spp. (e.g., CLas), and has caused a devastating decline in citrus production in many areas of the world. As of yet, there are no definitive treatments for controlling the disease. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that have the potential to block secretion-dependent effector proteins at the outer-membrane domains were screened in silico. Predictions of drug-receptor interactions were built using multiple in silico techniques, including molecular docking analysis, molecular dynamics, molecular mechanics generalized Born surface area analysis, and principal component analysis. The efflux pump TolC of the Type 1 secretion system interacted with natural bacteriocin plantaricin JLA-9, blocking the barrel. The trajectory-based principal component analysis revealed the possible binding mechanism of the peptides. Furthermore, in vitro assays using two closely related culturable surrogates of CLas (Liberibacter crescens and Rhizobium spp.) showed that Plantaricin JLA-9 and two other screened AMPs inhibited bacterial growth and caused mortality. The findings contribute to designing effective therapies to manage plant diseases associated with Candidatus Liberibacter spp.

published proceedings

  • Molecules

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, H., Mulgaonkar, N., Mallawarachchi, S., Ramasamy, M., Padilla, C. S., Irigoyen, S., ... Fernando, S.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Haoqi||Mulgaonkar, Nirmitee||Mallawarachchi, Samavath||Ramasamy, Manikandan||Padilla, Carmen S||Irigoyen, Sonia||Coaker, Gitta||Mandadi, Kranthi K||Fernando, Sandun

publication date

  • December 2022