Candidatus Liberibacter

Authored by: Kirsten S. Pelz-Stelinski , Lukasz L. Stelinski

Manual of Security Sensitive Microbes and Toxins

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553965
eBook ISBN: 9781466553989
Adobe ISBN:


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Bacteria in the genus Candidatus (Ca.) Liberibacter consist of several distinct species of psyllid-borne plant pathogens that also serve as endosymbionts of their insect vectors. Ca. Liberibacter spp. are phloem-limited, gram-negative alpha-Proteobacteria in the family Rhizobiaceae. As indicated by the Candidatus designation, the bacteria in this genus have not been cultivated in a sustained manner. Three species of Ca. Liberibacter, Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus (Las), Ca. Liberibacter americanus (Lam), and Ca. Liberibacter africanus (Laf), are found in a variety of mostly rutaceous host plants and are the putative causal agents of huanglongbing (HLB), otherwise known as greening disease of citrus. Las is associated with HLB throughout Asia and the Americas, while Lam and Laf are only found in association with the disease in Brazil and Africa, respectively. A fourth Ca. Liberibacter species, Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum (Lso) (also known as Ca. Liberibacter psyllaurous), is found in association with solanaceous plants and is the probable causal agent of Zebra chip disease in potatoes. 1

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