Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xcc) is the etiological agent of citrus canker, a disease that affects almost all types of citrus crops. Production of Xcc virulence factors is controlled by a gene cluster rpf, which encodes elements of a cell-cell communication system called quorum sensing (QS). Perturbation of cell-cell signaling systems either by signal degradation or by overproduction significantly reduces symptoms and thereby the severity of the disease. Pathogenicity assays in Citrus sinensis showed that some bacterial species natural inhabitants of citrus phyllosphera have the strong ability to disturb QS system mediated by diffusible signal factor (DSF) molecule in Xcc and to reduce disease severity. The lessening of symptoms was associated with alteration in bacterial attachment and biofilm formation. These factors are known to contribute to Xcc virulence in the early stages of disease. The aim of this chapter is to review QS system in Xcc, the virulence factors affected by QS disturbing, as well as the main secretion systems that participate actively in virulence and its effect on the symptomatology of citrus canker.
Part of the book: Citrus Pathology
Citrus canker is a disease that affects the major types of commercial citrus crops. Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri, the etiological agent, reaches to mesophyll tissue through the stomata and afterward induces cell hyperplasia. Disease management has been based on both tree eradication and copper spray treatment. Overuse of copper for control of bacterial citrus canker has led to the development and prevalence of copper-resistant strains of Xcc. Several genera of both soil- and plant-associated bacteria became powerful tools in sustainable agriculture for control of Xcc and reduction of citrus canker disease severity. In this chapter we present bacteria able to interfere with quorum sensing as well to display antibacterial activity against Xcc by production of secondary metabolite. These bacteria may represent a highly valuable tool in the process of biological control and offer an alternative to the traditional copper treatment currently used for the treatment of citrus canker disease, with significant environmental, economic, and health implications worldwide.
Part of the book: Plant Diseases