Proteomics Approach to Identify Unique Xylem Sap Proteins in Pierce's Disease-Tolerant Vitis Species
Pierce's disease (PD) is a destructive bacterial disease of grapes caused by Xylella fastidiosa which is xylem-confined. The tolerance level to this disease varies among Vitis species. Our research was aimed at identifying unique xylem sap proteins present in PD-tolerant Vitis species. The results showed wide variation in the xylem sap protein composition, where a set of polypeptides with pI between 4.5 and 4.7 and M (r) of 31 kDa were present in abundant amount in muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia, PD-tolerant), in reduced levels in Florida hybrid bunch (Vitis spp., PD-tolerant) and absent in bunch grapes (Vitis vinifera, PD-susceptible). Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry analysis of these proteins revealed their similarity to beta-1, 3-glucanase, peroxidase, and a subunit of oxygen-evolving enhancer protein 1, which are known to play role in defense and oxygen generation. In addition, the amount of free amino acids and soluble sugars was found to be significantly lower in xylem sap of muscadine genotypes compared to V. vinifera genotypes, indicating that the higher nutritional value of bunch grape sap may be more suitable for Xylella growth. These data suggest that the presence of these unique proteins in xylem sap is vital for PD tolerance in muscadine and Florida hybrid bunch grapes.