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Studies on priming give new momentum to research on Xf resistance

May 26, 2023 | News

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. 

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