BACKGROUND: Huanglongbing (HLB, previously known as citrus greening), is associated with
Candidatus Liberibacter species and is a serious threat to citrus production world-wide. The
pathogen is a Gram negative, unculturable, phloem-limited bacterium with limited known genomic
information. Expanding the genetic knowledge of this organism may provide better understanding
of the pathogen and possibly develop effective strategies for control and management of HLB.
RESULTS: Here, we report cloning and characterization of an additional 14.7 Kb of new genomic sequences from three different genomic regions of the Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las). Sequence variation analyses among the available Ca. Liberibacter species sequences as well as the newly cloned 1.5 Kb of rpoB gene from different Ca. Liberibacter strains have identified INDELs and SNPs. Phylogenetic analysis of the deduced protein sequences from the cloned regions characterizes the HLB-associated Candidatus Liberibacter as a new clade in the sub-division of the α-proteobacteria.
CONCLUSION: Comparative analyses of the cloned gene regions of Candidatus Liberibacter with
members of the order Rhizobiales suggest overall gene structure and order conservation, albeit
with minor variations including gene decay due to the identified pseudogenes. The newly cloned
gene regions contribute to our understanding of the molecular aspects of genomic evolution of Ca.