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Biotechnological approaches to the control of citrus huanglongbing using transgenic plants

Abstract

Huanglongbing (HLB) is the major threat to the citriculture worldwide. The fast and efficient dissemination of the HLB associated bacteria, Candidatus Liberibacter spp., by its psyllid vector Diaphorina citri and the absence of genetic resistance in citrus, are major factors accounting for disease severity. The development of varieties with good agronomic performance and resistance to disease has been an efficient and environmentally sustainable way to control diseases in different crops. However, reproductive and genetic constraints of citrus make the classical breeding a long process, exacerbated with lack of resistance to Liberibacters and to the insect vector. Biotechnological approaches have a valuable potential to solve these problems. The production of transgenic citrus resistant to HLB, therefore, has been anxiously expected as an important alternative to the current strategies that have been applied to manage the disease. This potential outcome might strengthen the Brazilian citriculture in technical and economic aspects, keeping Brazil as the leading country in orange juice production and commercialization. To reach such goals, we propose in this project: i) to produce transgenic sweet orange expressing prophage genes from Ca. Liberibacter sp. to confer resistance to HLB; ii) to identify D. citri genes related to insect growth and development as well as genes involved in Liberibacter acquisition and infection; iii) to develop a transient RNA interference system in planta with D. citri genes and test its efficacy in transgenic citrus plants; iv) to develop a regeneration and genetic transformation system on Murraya sp. to incorporate resistance to D. citri. These subprojects are related to each other and have as a common theme the genetic control of the main citrus disease in Brazil and worldwide. (AU)

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Scientific publications (7)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DAROLT, JOSIANE CECILIA; BENTO, FLAVIA DE MOURA MANOEL; MERLIN, BRUNA LAIS; PENA, LEANDRO; CONSOLI, FERNANDO LUIS; WULFF, NELSON ARNO. The Genome of ``Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus `` Is Highly Transcribed When Infecting the Gut of Diaphorina citri. FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, v. 12, . (18/24234-4, 15/07011-3)
TOMASETO, ARTHUR F.; MARQUES, RODRIGO N.; FERERES, ALBERTO; ZANARDI, ODIMAR Z.; VOLPE, HAROLDO X. L.; ALQUEZAR, BERTA; PENA, LEANDRO; MIRANDA, MARCELO P.. Orange jasmine as a trap crop to control Diaphorina citri. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 9, . (15/07011-3)
DA SILVA, PRISCILA ALVES; FASSINI, CAMILA GIACOMO; SAMPAIO, LAIS SIMES; DEQUIGIOVANNI, GABRIEL; ZUCCHI, MARIA IMACULADA; WULFF, NELSON ARNO. Genetic Diversity of `Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' Revealed by Short Tandem Repeats and Prophage Typing Indicates Population Homogeneity in Brazil. PHYTOPATHOLOGY, v. 109, n. 6, p. 960-971, . (16/01993-1, 15/07011-3)
VOLPE, HAROLDO XAVIER LINHARES; ZANARDI, ODIMAR ZANUZO; MAGNANI, RODRIGO FACCHINI; LUVIZOTTO, REJANE ANGELICA GRIGIO; ESPERANCA, VICTORIA; DE FREITAS, RENATO; DELFINO, JENNIFER YSLAINE; MULINARI, TATIANA APARECIDA; DE CARVALHO, ROMULO IGOR; WULFF, NELSON ARNO; et al. Behavioral responses of Diaphorina citrito host plant volatiles in multiple-choice olfactometers are affected in interpretable ways by effects of background colors and airflows. PLoS One, v. 15, n. 7, . (15/07011-3, 17/21460-0)
ALQUEZAR, BERTA; RODRIGUEZ, ANA; DE LA PENA, MARCOS; PENA, LEANDRO. Genomic Analysis of Terpene Synthase Family and Functional Characterization of Seven Sesquiterpene Synthases from Citrus sinensis. FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE, v. 8, . (15/07011-3)
ALQUEZAR, BERTA; VOLPE, HAROLDO XAVIER LINHARES; MAGNANI, RODRIGO FACCHINI; DE MIRANDA, MARCELO PEDREIRA; SANTOS, MATEUS ALMEIDA; MARQUES, VIVIANI VIEIRA; DE ALMEIDA, MARCIA RODRIGUES; WULFF, NELSON ARNO; TING, HIENG-MING; DE VRIES, MICHEL; et al. Engineered Orange Ectopically Expressing the Arabidopsis beta-Caryophyllene Synthase Is Not Attractive to Diaphorina citri, the Vector of the Bacterial Pathogen Associated to Huanglongbing. FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE, v. 12, . (15/07011-3)
BENTO, FLAVIA MOURA MANOEL; DAROLT, JOSIANE CECILIA; MERLIN, BRUNA LAIS; PENA, LEANDRO; WULFF, NELSON ARNO; CONSOLI, FERNANDO LUIS. The molecular interplay of the establishment of an infection - gene expression of Diaphorina citri gut and Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. BMC Genomics, v. 22, n. 1, . (15/07011-3, 18/24768-9)

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