European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 153, Issue 3, pp 891–906 | Cite as

Transcriptome profiling of periwinkle infected with Huanglongbing (‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’)

  • Xiaofei Liu
  • Yu Zheng
  • Gefu Wang-Pruski
  • Yun Gan
  • Bo Zhang
  • Qiyong Hu
  • Yixin Du
  • Jianwei Zhao
  • Lihua LiuEmail author


Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) is the most devastating disease of citrus worldwide. It is caused by a phloem-limited α-proteobacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter’, whose pathogenesis is unknown. Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), known to carry more HLB bacterium and develop HLB symptom in a short period of time, is an ideal host plant for studying the HLB bacterium. In this study, periwinkle was used as the host for HLB bacterium, and the next-generation sequencing technology RNA-Seq was used to evaluate the gene expression of the pairwise comparison for three categories of periwinkle leaf samples, including: healthy leaves (H), yellow leaves (Y), and symptom-just-occurred partially mottled leaves (S). The analysis identified 5432 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), associated with a wide range of functions and pathways involved in cell wall, transport, transcription factors, secondary metabolism, stress, signaling, plant hormone metabolism and signal transduction pathway, starch and sucrose metabolism pathway and photosystem and photosynthesis related pathways. The number of DEGs in the pairwise comparisons between Y and H is much more than that of between S and H. A total of 17 genes were further assayed by real-time qRT-PCR and the results were generally consistent with what obtained from RNA-Seq, with the correlation coefficients all greater than 0.92. The expressions of some genes regulated by the infection of HLB bacterium in periwinkles were consistent with previous studies on citrus. Genes involved in functions such as starch metabolism and hormone mediated defense are considered as useful guidance for HLB pathogenesis in future.


Huanglongbing ‘Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus’ Periwinkle Transcriptome Host-pathogen interaction 



The research was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 31272009), Program of Fujian Provincial Science and Technology Department (2017R1025-4), Innovation Team of Plant Protection, Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences (STIT2017-1-8) and Program of Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences (YC2017-11). We appreciate the expertise of Dianlong Chen, Caiyun Deng, Yanyun Shi, Chunhua Xu for the technical support.


This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 31272009), Program of Fujian Provincial Science and Technology Department (2017R1025–4) and Innovation Team of Plant Protection, Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences (STIT2017-1-8).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal studies

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

10658_2018_1607_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (11.9 mb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 12159 kb)


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaofei Liu
    • 1
  • Yu Zheng
    • 1
  • Gefu Wang-Pruski
    • 2
  • Yun Gan
    • 1
  • Bo Zhang
    • 3
  • Qiyong Hu
    • 1
  • Yixin Du
    • 1
  • Jianwei Zhao
    • 1
  • Lihua Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Fujian Key Laboratory for Monitoring and Integrated Management of Crop Pests, Institute of Plant ProtectionFujian Academy of Agricultural SciencesFuzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of AgricultureDalhousie UniversityTruroCanada
  3. 3.Biomarker Technologies CompanyBeijingChina

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