Clubroot is a serious soil-borne disease of crucifers caused by the obligate parasite Plasmodiophora brassicae. The genetic basis and histopathology of clubroot resistance in two Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis) inbred lines Bap055 and Bap246, challenged with pathotype 4 of P. brassicae, was evaluated. The Chinese cabbage cultivar “Juxin” served as a susceptible check. The resistance in Bap055 was found to be controlled by the CRa gene, while resistance in Bap246 fit a model of control by unknown recessive gene. Infection of the roots by P. brassicae was examined by inverted microscopy. Despite their resistance, primary and secondary infection were observed to occur in Bap055 and Bap246. Primary infection was detected at 2 days post-inoculation (DPI) in “Juxin,” at 4 DPI in Bap055, and at 6 DPI in Bap246. Infection occurred most quickly on “Juxin,” with 60% of the root hairs infected at 10 DPI, followed by Bap055 (31% of the root hairs infected at 12 DPI) and Bap246 (20% of the root hairs infected at 14 DPI). Secondary infection of “Juxin” was first observed at 8 DPI, while in Bap055 and Bap246, secondary infection was first observed at 10 DPI. At 14 DPI, the percentage of cortical infection in “Juxin,” Bap055 and Bap246 was 93.3, 20.0, and 11.1%, respectively. Although cortical infection was more widespread in Bap055 than in Bap246, secondary infection in both of these hosts was restricted relative to the susceptible check, and the vascular system remained intact. A large number of binucleate secondary plasmodia were observed in “Juxin” and the vascular system was disrupted at 16 DPI; in Bap055 and Bap246, only a few secondary plasmodia were visible, with no binucleate secondary plasmodia. The defense mechanisms and expression of resistance appears to differ between Chinese cabbage cultivars carrying different sources of resistance.
A hoof disease among wild elk (Cervus elaphus) in the western United States has been reported since 2008. Now present in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California, this hoof disease continues to spread among elk herds suggesting an infectious etiology. Causing severe lesions at the hoof-skin junction, lesions can penetrate the hoof-horn structure causing severe lameness, misshapen hooves, and in some cases, sloughed hooves leaving the elk prone to infection, malnutrition, and premature death. Isolated to the feet, this disease has been termed treponeme-associated hoof disease due to the numerous Treponema spp. found within lesions. In addition to the Treponema spp., treponeme-associated hoof disease shares many similarities with digital dermatitis of cattle and livestock including association with several groups of anaerobic bacteria such as Bacteroides, Clostridia, and Fusobacterium, neutrophilic inflammatory infiltrate, and restriction of the disease to the foot and hoof tissues. To determine if there was a transmissible infectious component to this disease syndrome, elk lesion homogenate was used in a sheep model of digital dermatitis. Ten animals were inoculated with lesion material and lesion development was followed over 7 weeks. Most inoculated feet developed moderate to severe lesions at 2- or 4-weeks post-inoculation timepoints, with 16 of 18 feet at 4 weeks also had spirochetes associated within the lesions. Histopathology demonstrated spirochetes at the invading edge of the lesions along with other hallmarks of elk hoof disease, neutrophilic inflammatory infiltrates, and keratinocyte erosion. Treponema-specific PCR demonstrated three phylotypes associated with elk hoof disease and digital dermatitis were present. Serum of infected sheep had increased anti-Treponema IgG when compared to negative control sheep and pre-exposure samples. Analysis of the bacterial microbiome by sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene showed a community structure in sheep lesions that was highly similar to the elk lesion homogenate used as inoculum. Bacteroidies, Fusobacterium, and Clostridia were among the bacterial taxa overrepresented in infected samples as compared to negative control samples. In conclusion, there is a highly transmissible, infectious bacterial component to elk treponeme-associated hoof disease which includes several species of Treponema as well as other bacteria previously associated with digital dermatitis.
From the PRRSV virulent strain BG8 isolated from a PRRSV-infected pig, using serial passage method in MARC-145 cell line, we have successfully obtained an attenuated strain in 95th passage, named as BG895, with high potential to be a vaccine candidate. In this study, we present the results of the safety and efficacy evaluation of BG895 against PRRSV in experimental pigs. Trial results of vaccine formula using strain BG895 have very high safety when inoculating 5 doses/animal and 10 doses/animal. Evaluation of immune response by ELISA method showed that, from 14 days post inoculation, anti-PRRSV antibodies were detected in the serum of all inoculated pigs in vaccine batches with the lowest S/P index of 1.50 ± 0.4 and the highest S/P was 2.36 ± 0.1 from 28 days post inoculation. The IPMA method showed that the antibody titer of the vaccine reached ≥ 1/160 in 100% of pigs from 21 days post inoculation andreached ≥ 1/640 in 100% of pigs from 28 days post inoculation, indicating that the vaccine was effective at protecting 100% of pigs from 28 days post inoculation. The protective effect of the vaccine was evaluated by the virulent challenge from 28 days post inoculation with 1 dose/animal compared with the control group. The results showed that compared with all pigs in the control group with typical clinical manifestations of Blue-ear disease, all inoculated pigs had normal body temperature and weight gain, besides, the S/P index increased from 1.65 ± 0.1 to the highest 2.99 ± 0.2; the average antibody titer was >1/2560, and virus wasnot detected in nasal fluid by real-time RT-PCR from 7 days post challenge. These experimental results confirmed the safety and efficacy of the attenuated PRRS vaccine based on BG895strain.
There is a great demand for antibiotic alternatives to maintain animal health and productivity. The objective of this experiment was to determine the efficacy of dietary supplementation of a blood group A6 type 1 antigen oligosaccharides-based polymer (Coligo) on growth performance, diarrhea severity, intestinal health, and systemic immunity of weaned pigs experimentally infected with an enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), when compared with antibiotics.
Pigs in antibiotic carbadox or Coligo treatment groups had greater (P < 0.05) body weight on d 5 or d 11 post-inoculation (PI) than pigs in the control group, respectively. Supplementation of antibiotics or Coligo enhanced (P < 0.05) feed efficiency from d 0 to 5 PI and reduced (P < 0.05) frequency of diarrhea throughout the experiment, compared with pigs in the control group. Supplementation of antibiotics reduced (P < 0.05) fecal β-hemolytic coliforms on d 2, 5, and 8 PI. Pigs in antibiotics or Coligo groups had reduced (P < 0.05) neutrophil counts and serum haptoglobin concentration compared to pigs in the control group on d 2 and 5 PI. Pigs in Coligo had reduced (P < 0.05) total coliforms in mesenteric lymph nodes on d 5 and 11 PI, whereas pigs in antibiotics or Coligo groups had reduced (P < 0.05) total coliforms in spleen on d 11 PI compared with pigs in the control group. On d 5 PI, pigs in the Coligo group had greater (P < 0.05) gene expression of ZO1 in jejunal mucosa, but less (P < 0.05) mRNA expression of IL1B, IL6, and TNF in ileal mucosa, in comparison with pigs in the control group. Supplementation of antibiotics enhanced (P < 0.05) the gene expression of OCLN in jejunal mucosa but decreased (P < 0.05) IL1B and IL6 gene expression in ileal mucosa, compared with the control. On d 11 PI, supplementation of antibiotics or Coligo up-regulated (P < 0.05) gene expression of CLDN1 in jejunal mucosa, but Coligo reduced (P < 0.05) IL6 gene expression in ileal mucosa compared to pigs in the control group.
Supplementation of Coligo improved growth performance, alleviated diarrhea severity, and enhanced gut health in weaned pigs infected with ETEC F18 in a manner similar to in-feed antibiotics.
Atractylodes lancea is an important traditional Chinese medicinal plant whose rhizome is used for treating complaints such as rheumatic diseases, digestive disorders, night blindness and influenza. Jiangsu Province is the optimal cultivation location for high-quality A. lancea rhizome. Since June 2019, symptoms of crown rot and leaf rot were observed in about 10-20% of the A. lancea in a plantation (31° 36' 1" N, 119° 6' 40" W) in Lishui, Jiangsu, China. Lesions occurred on the stem near the soil line and on the leaves (Fig. 1A). Disease incidence reached approximately 80-90% by September, 2021 (Fig. 1B) and resulted in severe loss of rhizome and seed yields. For pathogen isolation, ten samples of symptomatic stem segments and ten diseased leaves were collected, surface-sterilized using 5% NaClO solution, rinsed with sterile water, cut into 0.5-2 cm segments, and plated to potato dextrose agar (PDA), and then incubated at 30°C in darkness. Pure cultures of four isolates showing morphological characteristics of Paraphoma spp. were obtained, identified as a single P. chrysanthemicola strain, and named LSL3f2. Newly formed colonies initially consisted of white mycelia; the five-day-old colonies developed a layer of whitish grey mycelia with a grey underside. 20-day-old colonies had white mycelium along the margin and with a faint yellow inner circular part with irregular radial furrows, and the reverse side looking caramel and russet (Fig. 1C). Pycnidia were subglobose (diameter: 5 to 15 μm; Fig. 1D). Unicellular, bicellular or strings of globose or subglobose chlamydospores developed from hyphal cells (Fig. 1E and 1F). The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and large subulin-28S of LSL3f2 were cloned using primers ITS1/ITS4 and LR0R/LR7 (Aveskamp et al. 2010, Li et al. 2013), and deposited in GenBank (OK559658 and OK598973, respectively). BLASTn search and phylogenetic analysis showed the highest identity between LSL3f2 and P. chrysanthemicola sequences (Fig. 1G) and confirmed LSL3f2 as P. chrysanthemicola. Koch’s postulates were completed using one-month-old vegetatively propagated A. lancea plantlets growing on autoclaved vermiculite/peat mixture at 26°C with a light/dark cycle of 12/12 hours. Each plantlet was inoculated with 5 ml of conidial suspension in water (1 × 108 cfu/ml) by applying to soil close to the plantlet, with sterile water used as a mock control (n = 10). By 20 days post-inoculation, inoculated plantlets showed a range of disease symptoms consistent to those observed in infested fields (Fig. 1H). Pathogenicity was additionally confirmed using detached leaves inoculated with a colonized agar plug of LSL3f2 or an uninoculated control comparison (diameter = 5 mm) and incubated at 26℃ in the dark. Five to seven days post-inoculation, detached leaves showed leaf rot symptoms including lesions, yellowing and withering consistent with those in infested fields, while control leaves remained healthy (n = 10, Fig. 1I). The pathogen was reisolated from the diseased plantlets and detached leaves, in both cases demonstrating the micromorphological characteristics of LSL3f2. P. chrysanthemicola has been reported to cause leaf and crown rot on other plants such as Tanacetum cinerariifolium (Moslemi et al. 2018), and leaf spot on A. japonicain (Ge et al. 2016). However, this is the first report of P. chrysanthemicola causing crown and leaf rot on A. lancea in China.
Recent spillback events of SARS-CoV-2 from humans to animals has raised concerns about it becoming endemic in wildlife. A sylvatic cycle of SARS-CoV-2 could present multiple opportunities for repeated spillback into human populations and other susceptible wildlife. Based on their taxonomy and natural history, two native North American wildlife species —the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) and the raccoon (Procyon lotor) —represent a high likelihood of susceptibility and ecological opportunity of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2. Eight skunks and raccoons were each intranasally inoculated with one of two doses of the virus (103 PFU and 105 PFU) and housed in pairs. To evaluate direct transmission, a naïve animal was added to each inoculated pair 48 h post-inoculation. Four control animals of each species were handled like the experimental groups. At predetermined intervals, we collected nasal and rectal swabs to quantify virus shed via virus isolation and detect viral RNA via rRT-PCR and blood for serum neutralization. Lastly, animals were euthanized at staggered intervals to describe disease progression through histopathology and immunohistochemistry. No animals developed clinical disease. All intranasally inoculated animals seroconverted, suggesting both species are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The highest titers in skunks and raccoons were 1:128 and 1:64, respectively. Low quantities of virus were isolated from 2/8 inoculated skunks for up to day 5 post-inoculation, however no virus was isolated from inoculated raccoons or direct contacts of either species. Neither species had gross lesions, but recovering mild chronic pneumonia consistent with viral insult was recorded histologically in 5/8 inoculated skunks. Unlike another SARS-CoV-2 infection trial in these species, we detected neutralizing antibodies in inoculated raccoons; thus, future wildlife serologic surveillance results must be interpreted with caution. Due to the inability to isolate virus from raccoons, the lack of evidence of direct transmission between both species, and low amount of virus shed by skunks, it seems unlikely for SARS-CoV-2 to become established in raccoon and skunk populations and for virus to spillback into humans. Continued outbreaks in non-domestic species, wild and captive, highlight that additional research on the susceptibility of SARS-CoV-2 in wildlife, especially musteloidea, and of conservation concern, is needed.
Laurel wilt is a lethal vascular disease affecting native Lauraceae in North America. The causal fungus, Raffaelea lauricola T.C. Harr., Fraedrich & Aghayeva and its symbiont, redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff are native to Asia (Fraedrich et al. 2008, Harrington et al. 2008). Since their introduction near Savannah, Georgia in 2002 (Fraedrich et al. 2008), laurel wilt has spread rapidly, resulting in extensive mortality of native redbay (Persea borbonia [L.] Spreng.) [Hughes et al. 2017] and is a threat to other native Lauraceae, such as sassafras (Sassafras albidum [Nutt.] Nees) (Bates et al. 2013) and northern spicebush (Lindera benzoin [L.] Blume) [Olatinwo et al. 2021]. In June 2021 a sassafras sapling showing wilt and dieback was observed along a roadside in Scott County, Virginia, which borders a laurel wilt-positive Tennessee county (Loyd et al. 2020). The trunk (approximately 5 cm diameter) was submitted to the Virginia Tech Plant Clinic. Although beetle holes were observed, X. glabratus was not found. Discolored sapwood chips were excised and plated on malt extract agar amended with cycloheximide (200 ppm) and streptomycin (100 ppm) [CSMA]. A fungus was consistently recovered and the morphology of conidiophores and conidia, and presence of blastoconidia and mucoid growth, aligned with the description of R. lauricola (Harrington et al. 2008). Two R. lauricola-specific primer sets (Dreaden et al. 2014) were used to amplify DNA extracted from a representative isolate (0248-2021) and confirm R. lauricola. For further confirmation, the LSU region of the rDNA was sequenced (Lloyd et al. 2020). The sequence of the isolate (GenBank accession no. OL583842) showed 100% identity (573/573 bp) to R. lauricola ex-type strain sequence, CBS 121567 (accession no. MH877762) (Harrington et al. 2008, Vu et al. 2018). The isolate was also confirmed by the National Identification Services by sequencing. To confirm pathogenicity, 15 sassafras seedlings (height = 60-100 cm, diameter = 8-10 mm) were inoculated with a conidial suspension harvested from 10-day CSMA cultures of 0248-2021, as follows: two 0.4 mm diameter holes were drilled 10 cm above the soil line at a 45° angle on opposite sides of the stem, leaving at least 3 cm between holes. Ten µl of the conidial suspension (5 x 107/ml) was transferred into each hole and sealed with parafilm. Two sassafras seedlings were inoculated with sterile water. Seedlings were maintained with 12 h photoperiod at 27° ± 2° C. Off-color foliage and loss of turgor were observed 10 days post-inoculation on conidia-inoculated seedlings; at two weeks, these were completely wilted and had sapwood discoloration. Water-inoculated plants showed no symptoms. Sapwood from 15 cm above the inoculation point was excised from 0248-2021-inoculated plants (n=2) and water-inoculated plants (n=1) and plated on CSMA. R. lauricola was recovered from symptomatic plants, but not from water-inoculated plants. The identity of the recovered fungus was confirmed with two species-specific primers sets (Dreaden et al. 2014). It is likely that laurel wilt is more prevalent in the area of the roadside find. Both sassafras and northern spicebush are widespread in Virginia and their range extends into the northeastern US and lower Canada. Laurel wilt poses a serious threat to these species and their ecosystems. For example, spicebush and sassafras are primary hosts of the native spicebush swallowtail butterfly (Papilio troilus L.) [Nitao et al. 1991].
Populations of the fire blight pathogen Erwinia amylovora Ea110 on apple flower stigmas were tracked over the course of apple bloom in field studies conducted between 2016 and 2019. In 18 of 23 experiments, flower stigmas inoculated on the 1st day of opening were found to harbor large (106-107 cells / flower) populations of E. amylovora when assessed three to five days post-inoculation. However, populations inoculated on stigmas of flowers that were already open for three days did not reach 106 cells / flower, and populations inoculated on stigmas of flowers that were already open for five days never exceeded 104 cells / flower. During this study, >10-fold increases in E. amylovora stigma populations in a 24-hr time period (termed population surges) were observed on 34.8%, 20.0%, and 4.0% of possible days on 1-day, 3-day, and 5-day open flowers, respectively. Population surges occurred on days with average temperatures as high as 24.5°C and as low as 6.1°C. Experiments incorporating more frequent sampling during days and overnight revealed that many population surges occurred between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM. A Pearson’s correlation analysis of weather parameters occurring during surge events indicated that population surges were significantly associated with situations where overnight temperatures either increased or remained constant, where wind speed decreased, and where relative humidity increased. This study refines our knowledge of E. amylovora population dynamics and further indicates that E. amylovora is able to infect flowers during exposure to colder field temperatures than previously reported.
To our knowledge, there are no reports that demonstrate the use of host molecular markers for the purpose of detecting generic plant virus infection. Two approaches involving molecular indicators of virus infection in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana were examined: the accumulation of small RNAs (sRNAs) using a microfluidics-based method (Bioanalyzer); and the transcript accumulation of virus-response related host plant genes, suppressor of gene silencing 3 (AtSGS3) and calcium-dependent protein kinase 3 (AtCPK3) by reverse transcriptase-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). The microfluidics approach using sRNA chips has previously demonstrated good linearity and good reproducibility, both within and between chips. Good limits of detection have been demonstrated from two-fold 10-point serial dilution regression to 0.1 ng of RNA. The ratio of small RNA (sRNA) to ribosomal RNA (rRNA), as a proportion of averaged mock-inoculation, correlated with known virus infection to a high degree of certainty. AtSGS3 transcript decreased between 14- and 28-days post inoculation (dpi) for all viruses investigated, while AtCPK3 transcript increased between 14 and 28 dpi for all viruses. A combination of these two molecular approaches may be useful for assessment of virus-infection of samples without the need for diagnosis of specific virus infection.
Resistance gene analogs (RGAs) comprising NBS-LRR gene family members are considered prominent candidates in the development of disease-resistant genotypes. NBS-LRR gene family comprised a very large number of genes; therefore, members of one subfamily TIR-NBS-LRR (TNL) are identified in the present study from Solanum tuberosum genome, followed by their bioinformatics characterization. The study identified a total of 44 genes encoding 60 TNL transcripts with two prominent clusters at chromosome 1 and chromosome 11. Expression analysis of 14 TNL genes after Alternaria solani infection at 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 days post inoculation in two disease-tolerant varieties, Kufri Jyoti and Kufri Pukhraj, and one relatively susceptible variety, Kufri Chandramukhi, showed differential expression of many genes including a high expression (>15-fold) of StTNLC6G2T1 and StTNLC11G9T1. Functional characterization of one such gene, StTNLC7G2, reveals involvement in the generation of reactive oxygen species under A. solani attack, implicating its putative role in plant defense via hypersensitive response.