Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy for direct detection of Xylella fastidiosa in xylem sap
The plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa is the causative agent of a number of diseases of economically important crops, including Pierce's disease that affects grapevines. Using a commercially available antibody specific for X. fastidiosa, we have established a protocol for microscopic identification of the bacterium by indirect immunofluorescence. This antibody clearly labels an uncharacterized antigen concentrated at a single pole of X. fastidiosa cells, but does not react with a non-Xylella control. This technique was also performed successfully on xylem exudates from several different plant genera and correlated well with standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay tests. These results establish a novel method for in situ assessment of X. fastidiosa infection from host plants.