The diversity of citrus endophytic bacteria and their interactions with Xylella fastidiosa and host plants
The bacterium Xylella fastidiosa is the causal agent of citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC) and has been associated with important losses in commercial orchards of all sweet orange [Citrus sinensis (L.)] cultivars. The development of this disease depends on the environmental conditions, including the endophytic microbial community associated with the host plant. Previous studies have shown that X. fastidiosa interacts with the endophytic community in xylem vessels as well as in the insect vector, resulting in a lower bacterial population and reduced CVC symptoms. The citrus endophytic bacterium Methylobacterium mesophilicum can trigger X. fastidiosa response in vitro, which results in reduced growth and induction of genes associated with energy production, stress, transport, and motility, indicating that X. fastidiosa has an adaptive response to M. mesophilicum. Although this response may result in reduced CVC symptoms, the colonization rate of the endophytic bacteria should be considered in studies that intend to use this endophyte to suppress CVC disease. Symbiotic control is a new strategy that uses symbiotic endophytes as biological control agents to antagonize or displace pathogens. Candidate endophytes for symbiotic control of CVC must occupy the xylem of host plants and attach to the precibarium of sharpshooter insects to access the pathogen. In the present review, we focus on interactions between endophytic bacteria from sweet orange plants and X. fastidiosa, especially those that may be candidates for control of CVC.