The enemy within: phloem-limited pathogens

TitleThe enemy within: phloem-limited pathogens
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBendix C, Lewis JD
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Date Published12/2016
Type of ArticleReview
AbstractThe growing impact of phloem-limited pathogens on high value crops has renewed interest in understanding how they cause disease. Although these pathogens cause substantial crop losses, many are poorly characterized. In this review, we present examples of phloem-limited pathogens that include intracellular bacteria with and without cell walls, and viruses. Phloem-limited pathogens have small genomes and lack many genes required for core metabolic processes, which is in part an adaptation to the unique phloem environment. For each pathogen class, we present multiple case studies to highlight aspects of disease caused by phloem-limited pathogens. The pathogens presented include Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (citrus greening), Arsenophonus bacteria, Serratia marcescens (cucurbit yellow vine disease), Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris (Aster Yellows Witches' Broom), Spiroplasma kunkelii, potato leaf roll virus, and citrus tristeza virus. We focus on commonalities in virulence strategies of these pathogens, and aim to stimulate new discussions in the hope that widely applicable disease management strategies can be found.