Grapevine phenolic compounds influence cell surface adhesion of Xylella fastidiosa and bind to lipopolysaccharide
Bacterial phytopathogenXylella fastidiosaspecifically colonizes the plant vascular tissue through a complex process of cell adhesion, biofilm formation, and dispersive movement. Adaptation to the chemical environment of the xylem is essential for bacterial growth and progression of infection. Grapevine xylem sap contains a range of plant secondary metabolites such as phenolics, which fluctuate in response to pathogen infection and plant physiological state. Phenolic compounds are often involved in host-pathogen interactions and influence infection dynamics through signaling activity, antimicrobial properties, and alteration of bacterial phenotypes. The effect of biologically relevant concentrations of phenolic compounds coumaric acid, gallic acid, epicatechin, and resveratrol on growth ofX.fastidiosawas assessed in vitro. None of these compounds inhibited bacterial growth, but epicatechin and gallic acid reduced cell-surface adhesion. Cell-cell aggregation decreased with resveratrol treatment, but the other phenolic compounds tested had minimal effect on aggregation. Expression of attachment (xadA) and aggregation (fimA) related genes were altered by presence of the phenolic compounds, consistent with observed phenotypes. All four of the phenolic compounds bound to purifiedX.fastidiosalipopolysaccharide (LPS), a major cell-surface component. Information regarding the impact of chemical environment on pathogen colonization in plants is important for understanding the infection process and factors associated with host susceptibility.