Relative Susceptibility of Vitis vinifera Cultivars to Vector-Borne Xylella fastidiosa through Time
Understanding the interactions between pathogen, crop and vector are necessary for the development of disease control practices of vector-borne pathogens. For instance, resistant plant genotypes can help constrain disease symptoms due to infections and limit pathogen spread by vectors. On the other hand, genotypes susceptible to infection may increase pathogen spread owing to their greater pathogen quantity, regardless of their symptom status. In this study, we evaluated under greenhouse conditions the relative levels of resistance (i.e. relatively lower pathogen quantity) versus tolerance (i.e. less symptom severity) of 10 commercial grapevine (Vitis vinifera) cultivars to Pierce's disease etiological agent, the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. Overall, no correlation was detected between pathogen quantity and disease severity, indicating the existence of among-cultivar variation in plant response to infection. Thompson Seedless and Barbera were the two most susceptible among 10 evaluated cultivars. Rubired showed the least severe disease symptoms and was categorized as one of the most resistant genotypes in this study. However, within each cultivar the degree of resistance/tolerance was not consistent across sampling dates. These cultivar and temporal differences in susceptibility to infection may have important consequences for disease epidemiology and the effectiveness of management protocols.