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Populations of Xanthomonas citri pv mangiferaeindicae from asymptomatic mango leaves are primarily endophytic

Pruvost O., Savelon C., Boyer C., Chiroleu F., Gagnevin L., Jacques M.A.. 2009. Microbial Ecology, 58 (1) : p. 170-178.

DOI: 10.1007/s00248-008-9480-x

Epiphytic survival of several Xanthomonas pathovars has been reported, but most studies failed to determine whether such populations were resident epiphytes, resulting from latent infections, or casual epiphytes. This study aimed at understanding the nature of Xanthomonas citri pv. mangiferaeindicae populations associated with asymptomatic leaves. When spray-inoculated on mango leaves cv. Maison Rouge, the pathogen multiplied markedly in association with juvenile leaves, but was most often detected as low population sizes (<1 × 103 cfu g-1) in association with mature leaves. Our results suggest a very low biological significance of biofilm-associated populations of X. citri pv. mangiferaeindicae, while saprophytic microbiota associated with mango leaves survived frequently as biofilms. A chloroform vapor-based disinfestation assay which kills cells specifically located on the leaf surface and not those located within the leaf mesophyll was developed. When applied to spray-inoculated leaves maintained under controlled environmental conditions, 155 out of the 168 analyzed datasets collected over three assessment dates for seven bacterial strains representative of the genetic diversity of the pathogen failed to demonstrate a significant X. citri pv. mangiferaeindicae population decrease on chloroform treated leaves up to 13 days after inoculation. We conclude that an efficient survival of X. citri pv. mangiferaeindicae present on mango leaf surfaces following a limited dissemination event is largely dependent on the availability of juvenile plant tissues. The bacterium gains access to protected sites (e.g., mesophyll) through stomata where it becomes endophytic and eventually causes disease. Chloroform vapor-based disinfestation assays should be useful for further studies aiming at evaluating survival sites of bacteria associated with the phyllosphere.

Mots-clés : mangifera indica; xanthomonas campestris citri; japon; réunion; inde; france; xanthomonas citri pv mangiferaeindicae

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