Molecular basis of Citrus Greening from genome analysis of hosts and pathogens

Welcome to our database of Analysis of Proteins in Citrus sinensis Genome and Diaphorina citri psyllid Genome. Oranges (Citrus) are an important nutritional source for human health and have immense economic value. Orange production yielded million tons of fruit valued at billion dollars. Citrus greening (also called huanglongbing, or HLB) is recognized as one of the most severe worldwide diseases of citrus. Currently, there is no good solution for this major threat to citrus production. While very significant efforts are spent on a search for a remedy against Citrus Greening, molecular bases of this disease remain poorly understood.

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We believe that in order to be successful in eradicating this plague, researchers need to gain knowledge about these mechanisms, suggest which molecules of the pathogen are causing the infection and which molecules of the host are its targets, and come up with ways to specifically interfere at molecular level. Comparative analysis of multiple genomes offers a bird's eye view of a pathogenicity landscape and will generate hypotheses about molecular players that are most likely to be involved. Currently, we have complete multiple genomes of citrus and of many other plant genomes, such as Arabidopsis and potato. We also have complete genome of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLa), which is a Gram-negative α-Proteobacterium closely associated with citrus greening. And also the genome of Asian citrus psyllid (the insect that transmit the CLa among citrus plants) is about to be completely sequenced. We are comparatively analyzing these genomes, of plants and their pathogens, with the goal to answer questions about which molecules are more likely to cause the infection and why hosts are not able to mount proper defense.

We perform the comprehensive bioinformatics analysis of proteins in citrus genome and psyllid genome to understand their evolution, spatial structure and function. The strategy of genome analysis is shown in the figure below. This website shows predictions of spatial structures and functions for all proteins in analyzed genomes for the citrus research community to use. The predictive and comparative sequence analysis is expected to shed more light on citrus greening and its molecular mechanisms and help citrus greening researchers move towards their goal more efficiently through collaborative interactions and computational assistance in hypotheses generation.

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Analysis of proteins in Citrus sinensis genome Analysis of proteins in Diaphorina citri psyllid genome Analysis of proteins in Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus genome