Transcription analysis of pilS and xpsEL genes from Xylella fastidiosa
Xylella fastidiosa is a xylem-limited phytopathogen responsible for diseases in several plants such as citrus and coffee. Analysis of the bacterial genome revealed some putative pathogenicity-related genes that could help to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of plant-pathogen interactions. In the present work, the transcription of three genes of the bacterium, grown in defined and rich media and also in media containing host plant extracts (sweet orange, 'ponkan' and coffee) was analyzed by RT-PCR. The pilS gene, which encodes a sensor histidine kinase responsible for the biosynthesis of fimbriae, was transcribed when the bacterium was grown in more complex media such as PW and in medium containing plant extracts. The xps genes (xpsL and xpsE) which are related to the type II secretion system were also detected when the bacterium was grown in rich media and media with 'ponkan' and coffee extracts. It was thus observed that pilS and xpsEL genes of X. fastidiosa can be modulated by environmental factors and their expression is dependent on the nutritional status of the growth medium.