Characterization of the Xylella fastidiosa PD1671 Gene Encoding Degenerate c-di-GMP GGDEF/EAL Domains, and Its Role in the Development of Pierce's Disease

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Xylella fastidiosa is an important phytopathogenic bacterium that causes many serious plant diseases including Pierce's disease of grapevines. X. fastidiosa is thought to induce disease by colonizing and clogging xylem vessels through the formation of cell aggregates and bacterial biofilms. Here we examine the role in X. fastidiosa virulence of an uncharacterized gene, PD1671, annotated as a two-component response regulator with potential GGDEF and EAL domains. GGDEF domains are found in c-di-GMP diguanylate cyclases while EAL domains are found in phosphodiesterases, and these domains are for c-di-GMP production and turnover, respectively. Functional analysis of the PD1671 gene revealed that it affected multiple X. fastidiosa virulence-related phenotypes. A Tn5 PD1671 mutant had a hypervirulent phenotype in grapevines presumably due to enhanced expression of gum genes leading to increased exopolysaccharide levels that resulted in elevated biofilm formation. Interestingly, the PD1671 mutant also had decreased motility in vitro but did not show a reduced distribution in grapevines following inoculation. Given these responses, the putative PD1671 protein may be a negative regulator of X. fastidiosa virulence.


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  • Pseudomonas fluorescens
  • Vitis vinifera
  • Xylella fastidiosa


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