Inhibition of Xylella fastidiosa polygalacturonase to produce Pierce's disease resistant grapevines
Polygalacturonases (PG) (EC 18.104.22.168), catalyze the random hydrolysis of 1, 4-alpha-D-galactosiduronic linkages in pectate and other galacturonans. Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) possesses a single PG gene, pglA (PD1485) and Xf mutants deficient in the production of PG result in lost pathogenicity and a compromised ability to systemically infect grapevines. We have cloned the pglA gene into a number of protein expression vectors and a small amount of active recombinant PG has been recovered, unfortunately most of the protein expressed is found in inclusion bodies in an inactive form. The goal of this project is to use phage panning to identify peptides that can bind to and inhibit Xf PG. Once peptides are discovered that can inhibit PG activity in vitro these peptides will be expressed in grapevine root stock to determine if the peptides can provide protection to the plant from Pierce’s disease.