Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca and fastidiosa Colonize Arabidopsis Systemically and Induce Anthocyanin Accumulation in Infected Leaves
The bacterium Xylella fastidiosa is a multihost pathogen that affects perennial crops such as grapevine, sweet orange, and olive tree worldwide. It is inherently difficult to study these pathosystems owing to the long-term growth habit of the host plant. Thus, the availability of model plants becomes essential to accelerate discoveries with economic impact. In this study, we uncovered evidence that the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana can be colonized by two different X. fastidiosa subspecies, pauca and fastidiosa. We observed that these bacteria are able to move away from the inoculation point as high bacterial populations were found in distant tissues. In addition, confocal laser scanning microscopy analysis of bacterial movement inside the petiole revealed the ability of the bacterium to move against the net xylem flow during the time course of colonization forming biofilm. These findings provide evidence for the capacity of X. fastidiosa to colonize Arabidopsis. Furthermore, leaves inoculated with X. fastidiosa showed a significant accumulation of anthocyanin. We propose that the X. fastidiosa subsp. pauca or fastidiosa colonization pattern and anthocyanin accumulation in the Arabidopsis ecotype Col-0 can be used as marker phenotypes to facilitate further studies aimed at improving genetic components involved in X. fastidiosa-host interaction.