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Dev Comp Immunol. 2016 Jan;54(1):7-19. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2015.08.007. Epub 2015 Aug 13.

Immune response and survival of Circulifer haematoceps to Spiroplasma citri infection requires expression of the gene hexamerin.

Author information

1
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), UMR 1332 Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, Villenave d'Ornon, France; Université de Bordeaux, UMR 1332 Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, Villenave d'Ornon, France.
2
Université de Lyon, INSA-Lyon, INRA, UMR203 BF2I, Biologie Fonctionnelle Insectes et Interactions, F-69621 Villeurbanne, France.
3
Université de Poitiers, UMR CNRS 7267 Ecologie et Biologie des Interactions, Equipe Ecologie, Evolution, Symbiose.
4
INRA, Evolution and Specificity of Multitrophic Interactions (ESIM), UMR 1355 Institut Sophia Agrobiotech (ISA), Sophia Antipolis, France.
5
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), UMR 1332 Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, Villenave d'Ornon, France; Université de Bordeaux, UMR 1332 Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, Villenave d'Ornon, France. Electronic address: nbouvery@bordeaux.inra.fr.

Abstract

Spiroplasma citri is a cell wall-less bacterium that infects plants. It is transmitted by the leafhopper Circulifer haematoceps, which hosts this bacterium in the haemocel and insect tissues. Bacterial factors involved in spiroplasma colonization of the insect host have been identified, but the immune response of the leafhopper to S. citri infection remains unknown. In this study, we showed that C. haematoceps activates both humoral and cellular immune responses when challenged with bacteria. When infected by S. citri, C. haematoceps displayed a specific immune response, evidenced by activation of phagocytosis and upregulation of a gene encoding the protein hexamerin. S. citri infection also resulted in decreased phenoloxidase-like activity. Inhibition of hexamerin by RNA interference resulted in a significant reduction in phenoloxidase-like activity and increased mortality of infected leafhoppers. Therefore, the gene hexamerin is involved in S. citri control by interfering with insect phenoloxidase activity.

KEYWORDS:

Hemipteran innate immunity; Hexamerin; Immune cells; Phenoloxidase activity; RNAi; Spiroplasma

PMID:
26279217
DOI:
10.1016/j.dci.2015.08.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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