Home 9 Outcomes 9 Publications 9 Parallel host shifts in a bacterial plant pathogen suggest independent genetic solutions

Parallel host shifts in a bacterial plant pathogen suggest independent genetic solutions

Authors: Monica A. Donegan, Helvécio D. Coletta-Filho, Rodrigo P. P. Almeida
Date Published: 29/03/2023
Keywords: Genomic


While there are documented host shifts in many bacterial plant pathogens, the genetic foundation of host shifts is largely unknown. Xylella fastidiosa is a bacterial pathogen found in over 600 host plant species. Two parallel host shifts occurred—in Brazil and Italy—in which X. fastidiosa adapted to infect olive trees, whereas related strains infected coffee. Using 10 novel whole-genome sequences from an olive-infecting population in Brazil, we investigated whether these olive-infecting strains diverged from closely related coffee-infecting strains. Several single-nucleotide polymorphisms, many derived from recombination events, and gene gain and loss events separated olive-infecting strains from coffee-infecting strains in this clade. The olive-specific variation suggests that this event was a host jump with genetic isolation between coffee- and olive-infecting X. fastidiosa populations. Next, we investigated the hypothesis of genetic convergence in the host shift from coffee to olive in both populations (Brazil and Italy). Each clade had multiple mutations and gene gain and loss events unique to olive, yet no overlap between clades. Using a genome-wide association study technique, we did not find any plausible candidates for convergence. Overall, this work suggests that the two populations adapted to infect olive trees through independent genetic solutions.

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,...

Detection of Xylella fastidiosa in Host Plants and Insect Vectors by Droplet Digital PCR

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

Date: 21/03/23

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