Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB), caused by Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las), is one of the most destructive citrus diseases worldwide, yet how Las causes HLB is poorly understood. Here we show that a Las-secreted protein, SDE15 (CLIBASIA_04025), suppresses plant immunity and promotes Las multiplication. Transgenic expression of SDE15 in Duncan grapefruit (Citrus 3 paradisi) suppresses the hypersensitive response induced by Xanthomonas citri ssp. citri (Xcc) and reduces the expression of immunity-related genes. SDE15 also suppresses the hypersensitive response triggered by the Xanthomonas vesicatoria effector protein AvrBsT in Nicotiana benthamiana, suggesting that it may be a broad-spectrum suppressor of plant immunity. SDE15 interacts with the citrus protein CsACD2, a homolog of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) ACCELERATED CELL DEATH 2 (ACD2). SDE15 suppression of plant immunity is dependent on CsACD2, and overexpression of CsACD2 in citrus suppresses plant immunity and promotes Las multiplication, phenocopying overexpression of SDE15. Identification of CsACD2 as a susceptibility target has implications in genome editing for novel plant resistance against devastating HLB.
|Number of pages||14|
|Early online date||5 Aug 2020|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2020|