Adhesion and Fitness in the Bean Phyllosphere and Transmission to Seed of Xanthomonas fuscans subsp fuscans
Deciphering the mechanisms enabling plant-pathogenic bacteria to disperse, colonize, and survive on their hosts provides the necessary basis to set up new control methods. We evaluated the role of bacterial attachment and biofilm formation in host colonization processes for Xanthomonas fuscans subsp. fuscans on its host. This bacterium is responsible for the common bacterial blight of bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), a seedborne disease. The five adhesin genes (pilA, fhab, xadA1, xadA2, and yapH) identified in X. fuscans subsp. fuscans CFBP4834-R strain were mutated. All mutants were altered in their abilities to adhere to polypropylene or seed. PilA was involved in adhesion and transmission to seed, and mutation of pilA led to lower pathogenicity on bean. YapH was required for adhesion to seed, leaves, and abiotic surfaces but not for in planta transmission to seed or aggressiveness on leaves. Transmission to seed through floral structures did not require any of the known adhesins. Conversely, all mutants tested, except in yapH, were altered in their vascular transmission to seed. In conclusion, we showed that adhesins are implicated in the various processes leading to host phyllosphere colonization and transmission to seed by plant-pathogenic bacteria.