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A high-throughput analysis of high-resolution X-ray CT images of stems of olive and citrus plants resistant and susceptible to Xylella fastidiosa

Authors: Nancy C. Walker, Siul A. Ruiz, Talita R. Ferreira, Helvecio D. Coletta-Filho, James Le Houx, Daniel McKay Fletcher, Steven M. White, Tiina Roose
Date Published: 27/11/2023
Via: BSPP Journals
Keywords: Breeding | Resistance


The bacterial plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa causes disease in several globally important crops. However, some cultivars harbour reduced bacterial loads and express few symptoms. Evidence considering plant species in isolation suggests xylem structure influences cultivar susceptibility to Xfastidiosa. We test this theory more broadly by analysing high-resolution synchrotron X-ray computed tomography of healthy and infected plant vasculature from two taxonomic groups containing susceptible and resistant varieties: two citrus cultivars (sweet orange cv. Pera, tangor cv. Murcott) and two olive cultivars (Koroneiki, Leccino). Results found the susceptible plants had more vessels than resistant ones, which could promote within-host pathogen spread. However, features associated with resistance were not shared by citrus and olive. While xylem vessels in resistant citrus stems had comparable diameters to those in susceptible plants, resistant olives had narrower vessels that could limit biofilm spread. And while differences among olive cultivars were not detected, results suggest greater vascular connectivity in resistant compared to susceptible citrus plants. We hypothesize that this provides alternate flow paths for sustaining hydraulic functionality under infection. In summary, this work elucidates different physiological resistance mechanisms between two taxonomic groups, while supporting the existence of an intertaxonomical metric that could speed up the identification of candidate-resistant plants.

Bioecological traits of spittlebugs and their implications on the epidemiology and control of Xylella fastidiosa epidemic in Apulia

Authors: Nicola Bodino, Vincenzo Cavalieri, Crescenza Dongiovanni, Maria Saponari, Domenico Bosco

Date: 03/11/23

Spatial-temporal dynamics of spittlebug populations, together with transmission biology, are of major importance to outline the disease epidemiology of Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca in Apulian olive groves. The spread rate of X. fastidiosa is mainly influenced by...

Direct and indirect effects of two endophytic entomopathogenic fungi on survival and feeding behaviour of meadow spittlebug Philaenus spumarius

Authors: Meelad Yousef-Yousef, Marina Morente, Natalia González-Mas, Alberto Fereres, Enrique Quesada-Moraga, Aranzazu Moreno

Date: 01/11/23

Highlights: Direct exposure of Philaenus to Metarhizium brunneum reduces its survivorship. M. brunneum successfully colonises the host plant and reduces survival of Philaenus. Philaenus reaches the xylem faster on M. brunneum-colonised plants. Xylem sap ingestion by...

Functional Peptides for Plant Disease Control

Authors: Emilio Montesinos

Date: 02/06/23

Plant disease control requires novel approaches to mitigate the spread of and losses caused by current, emerging, and re-emerging diseases and to adapt plant protection to global climate change and the restrictions on the use of conventional pesticides. Currently,...