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

Walker, Nancy C.; Ruiz, Siul A.; Ferreira, Talita R.; Coletta‐Filho, Helvecio D.; Le Houx, James; McKay Fletcher, Daniel; White, Steven M. ORCID:; Roose, Tiina. 2023 A high‐throughput analysis of high‐resolution X‐ray CT images of stems of olive and citrus plants resistant and susceptible to Xylella fastidiosa. Plant Pathology.

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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 X. fastidiosa. 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.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0032-0862
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: citrus variegated chlorosis, olive quick decline syndrome, resistance, X-ray computed tomography, Xylella fastidiosa, xylem
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
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Date made live: 13 Dec 2023 14:41 +0 (UTC)

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