Understanding pathogen evolution and the origin of pathogenicity and virulence remain central to mitigate the impacts and risks of plant pathogens. Xylella fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa causes Pierce’s Disease of grapevine and has been present in California for over a century, representing a unique opportunity for researchers to explore a plant pathogen’s evolution due to its interactions with a specific agroecosystem.
The authors of the paper used a landscape genetics approach to highlight the link between local adaptation, genetic variability, and the pressure of environmental (abiotic) factors in the pathogen evolution.
The results proved a high level of genetic variability of Xylella fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa affecting California grapevines. The researchers identified critical climatic factors involved in the organism’s dispersal, focusing on the role of temperature, precipitation, and elevation on the bacterium adaptation to the local context.
The report concludes that future studies should give greater importance to the role of the abiotic factors’ interaction with the pathogen, in its adaptation to specific agroecosystems.
Read/download via Environmental Microbiology: https://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.14965