The banana Xanthomonas wilt epidemic in the Great Lake
region of Africa has destroyed banana and is affecting
livelihoods of thousands of people who depend on the crop.
Currently, there are no banana varieties resistant to the disease.
Genetic engineering is the most feasible approach to introduce
resistance to the disease in banana. This however requires a
good understanding of the underlying genomics of the bacterium.
In this study, the capacity of Arabidopsis thaliana to study
Xanthomonas strain diversity was evaluated. Two isolates of
Xanthomonas campestris (Xcm2251, Xcm4383) and one
isolate of Xanthomonas vasicola (Xvv206) were infiltrated
into four A. thaliana genotypes. There was variable response
by A. thaliana accessions towards the three bacterial strains.
The effect of Xanthomonas strains was also significant. It is
concluded that A. thaliana can be used for host pathogen
interaction studies of Xcm and Xvv.