Influence of culture medium pH on growth, aggregation, and biofilm formation of Xylella fastidiosa
The major feature of Xylella fastidiosa growing in its hosts, as well as in culture media, is its cellular aggregation and biofilm formation, leading to partial obstruction of the xylem causing water stress in the plant. We report that growth, aggregation, and biofilm formation of X. fastidiosa are influenced by the medium pH. We have verified that X. fastidiosa cell aggregation is reversibly inhibited by decreasing the medium pH from 6.6 to 6.4. Biofilm formation on glass walls was affected as well, and a concomitant decrease in cell multiplication was observed below pH 6.4. The manipulation of culture medium pH can be used as a tool for the cloning of X. fastidiosa strains isolated from plant hosts, because different strains can inhabit the same plant. Also, X. fastidiosa mutants produced by gene manipulation can be isolated from cell aggregates containing transformed and untransformed cells.