Aims: In this study, binding between the immunodominant membrane protein Imp of the 16SrV-D phytoplasma associated with Flavescence dorée disease (FD-Dp) and insect proteins of vectors and non-vectors of FD-Dp was tested. Methods and Results: Six Auchenorrhyncha species, from distantly related groups were selected: Scaphoideus titanus, Euscelidius variegatus, Macrosteles quadripunctulatus, Zyginidia pullula (Cicadomorpha), Ricania speculum and Metcalfa pruinosa (Fulgoromorpha). The vector status of each species was retrieved from the literature or determined by transmission trials in this study. A His-tagged partial Imp protein and a rabbit polyclonal antibody were synthesized and used for Western and Far-Western dot Blot (FWdB) experiments. Total native and membrane proteins (MP) were extracted from entire bodies and organs (gut and salivary glands) of each insect species. FWdB showed decreasing interaction intensities of Imp fusion protein with total proteins from entire bodies of S. titanus, E. variegatus (competent vectors) and M. quadripunctulatus (non-vector), while no interaction signal was detected with the other three species (non-vectors). A strong signal detected upon interaction of FD-D Imp and MP from guts of closely related insects supports the role of this organ as the first barrier to ensure successful transmission. Conclusions: Our results showed that specific Imp binding, correlated with vector status, is involved in interactions between FD-Dp and insect proteins. Significance and Impact of the Study: Integrating knowledge on host–pathogen protein–protein interactions and on insect phylogeny would help to identify the actual range of vectors of phytoplasma strains of economic importance.
- grapevine yellows
- transmission efficiency
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology