Differential Susceptibility of Xylella fastidiosa Strains to Synthetic Bactericidal Peptides
The kinetics of cell inactivation and the susceptibility of Xylella fastidiosa subspecies fastidiosa, multiplex, and pauca to synthetic antimicrobial peptides from two libraries (CECMEL11 and CYCLO10) were studied. The bactericidal effect was dependent on the relative concentrations of peptide and bacterial cells, and was influenced by the diluent, either buffer or sap. The most bactericidal and lytic peptide was BP178, an enlarged derivative of the amphipathic cationic linear undecapeptide BP100. The maximum reduction in survivors after BP178 treatment occurred within the first 10 to 20 min of contact and at micromolar concentrations (<10 muM), resulting in pore formation in cell membranes, abundant production of outer membrane vesicles, and lysis. A threshold ratio of 109 molecules of peptide per bacterial cell was estimated to be necessary to initiate cell inactivation. There was a differential susceptibility to BP178 among strains, with DD1 being the most resistant and CFBP 8173 the most susceptible. Moreover, strains showed a proportion of cells under the viable but nonculturable state, which was highly variable among strains. These findings may have implications for managing the diseases caused by X. fastidiosa.