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The Many Cell Density-Dependent Behaviors of Xylella fastidiosa: Achieving Disease Control via Pathogen Confusion

Steven Lindow: University of California Berkeley

<div>The xylem-limited plant pathogenic bacterium Xylella fastidiosa has a complex life cycle involving traits required for movement between and growth within plant xylem vessels that are incompatible with its ability to colonize the mouthparts of sharpshooter vectors needed to transmit it to other plants. The expression of these traits is coordinated in a cell density- dependent manner involving the secretion and perception of unsaturated fatty acid quorum sensing signal molecules. Disease control can be achieved by elevating the abundance of the fatty acid signal molecule in the absence of large pathogen populations in transgenic plants and by other means to inhibit the expression of appropriate plant colonization traits in a process aimed at conferring "pathogen confusion".</div>

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