Pierce's Disease
Research Updates


What is Pierce's Disease?

Pierce's Disease is a bacterial infection, which is spread by bugs that feed on grapevines, particularly the "glassy winged sharpshooter." Grapevines that become infected with PD can quickly become sick and die.

glassy-winged sharpshooter

Microarray analyses of Xylella fastidiosa provide evidence of coordinated transcription control of laterally transferred elements

  • Author(s): Coletta-Filho, Helvecio; Goncalves, Edmilson; Leite, Daniela; Lopes, Silvio; Machado, Marcos; Muto, N.; Nunes, Luiz; Oliveira, Regina; Rosato, Y.; Silva, Vivian; Souza, Alessandra; Yanai, G.;
  • Abstract: Genetically distinct strains of the plant bacterium Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) are responsible for a variety of plant diseases, accounting for severe economic damage throughout the world. Using as a reference the genome of X. f. 9a5c strain, associated with citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC), we developed a microarray-based comparison involving 12 X. f. isolates, providing a thorough assessment of the variation in genomic composition across the group. Our results demonstrate that X. f. displays one of the largest flexible gene pools characterized to date, with several horizontally acquired elements, such as prophages, plasmids, and genomic islands (Gls), which contribute up to 18% of the final genome. Transcriptome analysis of bacteria grown under different conditions shows that most of these elements are transcriptionally active, and their expression can be influenced in a coordinated manner by environmental stimuli. Finally, evaluation of the genetic composition of these laterally transferred elements identified differences that may help to explain the adaptability of X. f. strains to infect such a wide range of plant species.
  • Publication Date: Apr 2003
  • Journal: Genome Research