Ionome Changes in Xylella fastidiosa-Infected Nicotiana tabacum Correlate With Virulence and Discriminate Between Subspecies of Bacterial Isolates
Characterization of ionomes has been used to uncover the basis of nutrient utilization and environmental adaptation of plants. Here, ionomic profiles were used to understand the phenotypic response of a plant to infection by genetically diverse isolates of Xylella fastidiosa, a gram-negative, xylem-limited bacterial plant pathogen. In this study, X. fastidiosa isolates were used to infect a common model host (Nicotiana tabacum 'SR1'), and leaf and sap concentrations of eleven elements together with plant colonization and symptoms were assessed. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed that changes in the ionome were significantly correlated with symptom severity and bacterial populations in host petioles. Moreover, plant ionome modification by infection could be used to differentiate the X. fastidiosa sub-species with which the plant was infected. This report establishes host ionome modification as a phenotypic response to infection.