Bacterial Vector-Borne Plant Diseases: Unanswered Questions and Future Directions.

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Vector-borne plant diseases have significant ecological and economic impacts, affecting farm profitability and forest composition throughout the world. Bacterial vector-borne pathogens have evolved sophisticated strategies to interact with their hemipteran insect vectors and plant hosts. These pathogens reside in plant vascular tissue, and their study represents an excellent opportunity to uncover novel biological mechanisms regulating intracellular pathogenesis and to contribute to the control of some of the world’s most invasive emerging diseases. In this perspective, we highlight recent advances and major unanswered questions in the realm of bacterial vector-borne disease, focusing on liberibacters, phytoplasmas, spiroplasmas, and Xylella fastidiosa.