The results of new studies on the “priming” mechanism in grapevine plants may give new momentum to research on resistance to Xylella fastidiosa.
In a paper published on New Phytologist, researchers from California universities Riverside and Davies illustrated the outcome of experiments, partially anticipated in a webinar of the Xylella files cycle, on methods to elicit priming response in Xf infected vine plants.
Through priming, plants adapt to a pathogen’s challenge providing an immunogenic response. The trigger relies on microorganisms’ particular microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs). Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a component of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria (such as Xylella fastidiosa) acting as a MAMP for plants and animals.
Researchers carried out a series of tests with LPS. Plants treated with the “primed” LPS developed fewer disease symptoms than naive vines. On top of that, researchers used a genetically modified LPS-dependent enzyme, finding that it confers significant disease resistance to grapes.