Dr. Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski to give Jugatae Invited Speaker Seminar April 1st 2013

Jugatae is pleased to announce that Dr. Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski of the University of Florida Citris Research and Education Center will give the Jugatae Invited Speaker Seminar on April 1, 2013 at 3:30PM in 226 Weill Hall.  The Seminar can been seen in Geneva, Barton lab A137 as well.

Dr. Pelz-Stelinski will discuss:

“Vector-pathogen interactions: transmission of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus and its effect on Asian citrus psyllid life history”

The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, which transmits the bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las), is responsible for the spread of citrus huanglongbing (HLB), throughout most of the world’s citrus-producing regions. Understanding the relationship between D. citri and Las is critical for the development of psyllid and HLB management programs. As part of a comprehensive study on this vector-pathogen interaction, we have conducted a series of studies investigating psyllid fitness, Las transmission, and replication of Las within the psyllid. Our results suggested that Las infection plays an important role in the fitness of D. citri, resulting in greater reproductive output from infected psyllids. Furthermore, nymph development time was shorter when D. citri fed on infected plants compared to healthy citrus. Decreased survival was observed in association with feeding on infected plants, suggesting that a trade-off may exist between these life-history traits in response to Las infection. Studies of acquisition and inoculation indicated that transmission of Las by Florida D. citri populations occurs at a lower rate than previously reported for other populations of D. citri and for the African citrus psyllid, Trioza erytreae, and that transmission may be mediated by temperature. Acquisition of Las was greatest in nymphs reared on infected plants, while a smaller percentage of psyllids acquired the bacterium during adult feeding. Transovarial and sexual routes of Las transmission may also provide significant contributions to the spread of Las in the absences of infected plant hosts. Inoculation experiments indicated that approximately10% of citrus plants developed HLB within one year after exposure to a single infected psyllid. Additionally, we show in a laboratory setting that Las apparently manipulates D. citri behavior to potentially facilitate further spread.


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