‘‘Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia’’ is the causative agent of witches’ broom disease in the Mexican lime tree (Citrus aurantifolia L.), and is responsible for major tree losses in Southern Iran and Oman. The pathogen is strictly biotrophic, and thus is completely dependent on living host cells for its survival. The molecular basis of compatibility and disease development in this system is poorly understood. Transcryptomic analysis of the susceptible lime cultivar at the representative symptoms stage showed a number of candidate genes that might be involved in the interaction of Mexican lime trees with “Ca P. aurantifolia”. These included the genes for modifier of snc1, autophagy protein 5, formin, importin Ð’3, transducin, L-asparaginase, glycerophosphoryl diester phosphodiesterase, and RNA polymerase b. In contrast, genes involved in basal metabolism like a proline-rich protein, ubiquitin-protein ligase, phosphatidyl glycerol specific phospholipase C-like, and serine/threonine-protein kinase. Proteomic analysis results reveal proteins that were involved in oxidative stress defense, photosynthesis, metabolism, and the stress response, regulate in infected trees. For the moment these results should help to identify genes that could be targeted to increase plant resistance and inhibit the growth and reproduction of the pathogen.
Key words: Candidatus phytoplasma aurantifolia, proteomix, transcryptomi.