Xylella: The Pathogen

By Dr. Donald Hopkins
Professor of Plant Pathology
Mid-Florida Research and Education Center
University of Florida

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Xylella fastidiosa, a small Gram-negative, xylem-limited bacterium, causes diseases that result in economic loss in several important crops. These include almond, citrus, coffee, grape, peach, and plum, as well as urban trees and shrubs. The wide host range of the different strains and subspecies of X. fastidiosa make disease management very difficult, but there are strategies available to reduce the disease incidence, including exclusion of the pathogen, host resistance, and biological control. Virulence and host specificity of strains of X. fastidiosa appear to be determined by ability to systemically colonize the host.

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