Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The power of electropenetrography in enhancing our understanding of host plant-vector interactions.

Abstract

The invasive Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae), is the primary vector of the phloem-infecting bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. Candidatus L. asiaticus is the putative causal agent of Huanglongbing (HLB) disease, a destructive disease of Citrus. While many Citrus species are susceptible to D. citri probing and HLB disease, there are marked behavioral differences in D. citri probing responses and Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus infection severity among Citrus species. Using four mandarin hybrid selections and pummelo plants variably resistant to D. citri probing, oviposition, and survival, we explored probing differences using electropenetrography (EPG), conducted an oviposition and survival study, and determined host plant metabolites using gas-chromatography mass-spectroscopy (GC-MS). We found thirty-seven D. citri probing variables to be significantly different among tested mandarin selections and pummelo, in addition to differential oviposition and survivorship abilities on tested plants. We found sixty-three leaf metabolites with eight being significantly different among tested mandarin selections and pummelo. Detailed analysis of probing behavior, oviposition, survivorship, and host plant metabolite concentrations reveals the complex, layered resistance mechanisms utilized by resistant Citrus against D. citri probing. EPG is a powerful technology for screening Asian citrus psyllid resistant Citrus to elucidate host plant-vector interactions, with an aim to minimize vector probing and eliminate the spread of the bacterial pathogen, Ca. L. asiaticus.