20th June 2018 - American Phytopathological Society Plant Disease
Plant pathogens are constantly emerging and spreading into new areas and there are often limited postdiagnosis treatment options for infection, making surveillance key to their control. Here we present results from a study testing the efficacy of a portable nanopore-based massively parallel sequencing (MPS) technology for use in the detection of diverse plant pathogens in selected samples. The Oxford MinION device was coupled with whole transcriptome amplification (WTA) to sequence the metatranscriptome of plant and insect tissues infected with either Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus or plum pox virus. Results showed that this methodology is useful for detecting unsuspected viral and bacterial pathogens in plant and insect tissues. The percentage of generated reads assigned to plum pox virus was 95% from infected tissue and 3% from the viruliferous insect, Myzus persicae. Diaphorina citri sequencing led to 22% of the reads mapping as Ca. L. asiaticus. Plum pox virus and Ca. L. asiaticus were detected in both tissue and insect samples near the beginning of each sequencing run, demonstrating the capability of this methodology to obtain results rapidly. This approach also proved the capability of this system to determine the major components of the insect vector’s microbiome and the specific strain of small-genome, high-titer pathogens.