Pierce’s Disease, threatening grapevines in California, and Citrus Greening Disease, plaguing commercial citrus trees in Florida, are caused by bacterial plant pathogens. Xylella fastidiosa and Candidatus liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) are the respective agents of these destructive diseases. Both reside in the plant vascular system, leading to dwarfed plants with dehydrated fruits that are ultimately worthless for the production of wine, juice, and oil, among other goods. If left untreated, these pathogens ultimately kill their host plants. Potent antibacterial agents, then, are desirable to prevent both the loss of these plants, and their products at market. Here, we explored the effectiveness of different compounds against X. fastidiosa and Liberibacter crescens, a culturable surrogate for CLas. Using an agar diffusion bioassay, we quantified the antibacterial activity of a variety of compounds, identified common structural motifs of these inhibitors, and presented possible modes of antibacterial action. Of the compounds tested, it was determined that Michael acceptors possess the greatest capacity for bacterial inhibition.
Arete:The PLNU Honors Journal