Differential gene expression in Xylella fastidiosa 9a5c during co-cultivation with the endophytic bacterium Methylobacterium mesophilicum SR1.6/6
Xylella fastidiosa, the causal agent of citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC), colonizes plant xylem, reducing sap flow, and inducing internerval chlorosis, leaf size reduction, necrosis, and harder and smaller fruits. This bacterium may be transmitted from plant to plant by sharpshooter insects, including Bucephalogonia xanthopis. The citrus endophytic bacterium Methylobacterium mesophilicum SR1.6/6 colonizes citrus xylem and previous studies showed that this strain is also transferred from plant to plant by B. xanthopis (Insecta), suggesting that this endophytic bacterium may interact with X. fastidiosa in planta and inside the insect vector during co-transmission by the same insect vector. To better understand the X. fastidiosa behavior in the presence of M. mesophilicum, we evaluated the X. fastidiosa transcriptional profile during in vitro interaction with M. mesophilicum SR1.6/6. The results showed that during co-cultivation, X. fastidiosa down-regulated genes related to growth and up-regulated genes related to energy production, stress, transport, and motility, suggesting the existence of a specific adaptive response to the presence of M. mesophilicum in the culture medium.