Characterization of Novel Virulent Broad-Host-Range Phages of Xylella fastidiosa and Xanthomonas
The xylem-limited bacterium Xylella fastidiosa is the causal agent of several plant diseases, most notably Pierce's disease of grape and citrus variegated chlorosis. We report the isolation and characterization of the first virulent phages for X. fastidiosa, siphophages Sano and Salvo and podophages Prado and Paz, with a host range that includes Xanthomonas spp. Phages propagated on homologous hosts had observed adsorption rate constants of similar to 4 x 10(-12) ml cell(-1) min(-1) for X. fastidiosa strain Temecula 1 and similar to 5 x 10(-10) to 7 x 10(-10) ml cell(-1) min(-1) for Xanthomonas strain EC-12. Sano and Salvo exhibit >80% nucleotide identity to each other in aligned regions and are syntenic to phage BcepNazgul. We propose that phage BcepNazgul is the founding member of a novel phage type, to which Sano and Salvo belong. The lysis genes of the Nazgul-like phage type include a gene that encodes an outer membrane lipoprotein endolysin and also spanin gene families that provide insight into the evolution of the lysis pathway for phages of Gram-negative hosts. Prado and Paz, although exhibiting no significant DNA homology to each other, are new members of the phiKMV-like phage type, based on the position of the single-subunit RNA polymerase gene. The four phages are type IV pilus dependent for infection of both X. fastidiosa and Xanthomonas. The phages may be useful as agents for an effective and environmentally responsible strategy for the control of diseases caused by X. fastidiosa.