How Ralstonia solanacearum Exploits and Thrives in the Flowing Plant Xylem Environment

Tiffany M. Lowe-Power, Devanshi Khokhani, Caitilyn Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


The plant wilt pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum thrives in the water-transporting xylem vessels of its host plants. Xylem is a relatively nutrient-poor, high-flow environment but R. solanacearum succeeds there by tuning its own metabolism and altering xylem sap biochemistry. Flow influences many traits that the bacterium requires for pathogenesis. Most notably, a quorum sensing system mediates the pathogen's major transition from a rapidly dividing early phase that voraciously consumes diverse food sources and avidly adheres to plant surfaces to a slower-growing late phase that can use fewer nutrients but produces virulence factors and disperses effectively. This review discusses recent findings about R. solanacearum pathogenesis in the context of its flowing in planta niche, with emphasis on R. solanacearum metabolism in plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-942
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • biofilm
  • metabolomics
  • plant pathogenesis
  • quorum sensing
  • vascular wilt


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