Psyllids, specifically Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), are economically important in the U.S. as vectors of the pathogen associated with citrus greening disease (Huanglongbing). Huanglongbing is one of the most severe diseases of citrus crops worldwide and is associated with psyllid-transmitted ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’. The microbiome of the Asian citrus psyllid was investigated; we analyzed Eubacterial 16S rDNA amplified from adults, eggs, and cell cultures. The nucleotide sequences showed significant homologies to 10 distinct types of bacteria. The four bacteria species detected in cell cultures identified two new types not previously reported to be associated with psyllids. Staphylococcus is a common enteric bacterium; these data support finding a type I strain which is similar. Another related to Methylocystis heyeri is a bacterium typically isolated from acidic environments that has been shown to utilize methane as the sole source of carbon and energy. Psyllid cell cultures are at a slightly acidic pH of ∼6.48, with the cultures derived from a diverse set of tissues that may include enteric tissues. These associated microbes of Asian citrus psyllid provide new insights into microbial interactions and avenues for developing novel management approaches against the pathogenic bacteria associated with Huanglongbing.
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Vol. 36 • No. 3