Xanthomonads, members of the family Xanthomonadaceae, are economically important plant pathogenic bacteria responsible for infections of over 400 plant species. Bacteriophage-based biopesticides can provide an environmentally friendly, effective solution to control these bacteria. Bacteriophage-based biocontrol has important advantages over chemical pesticides, and treatment with these biopesticides is a minor intervention into the microflora. However, bacteriophages' agricultural application has limitations rooted in these viruses' biological properties as active substances. These disadvantageous features, together with the complicated registration process of bacteriophage-based biopesticides, means that there are few products available on the market. This review summarizes our knowledge of the Xanthomonas-host plant and bacteriophage-host bacterium interaction's possible influence on bacteriophage-based biocontrol strategies and provides examples of greenhouse and field trials and products readily available in the EU and the USA. It also details the most important advantages and limitations of the agricultural application of bacteriophages. This paper also investigates the legal background and industrial property right issues of bacteriophage-based biopesticides. When appropriately applied, bacteriophages can provide a promising tool against xanthomonads, a possibility that is untapped. Information presented in this review aims to explore the potential of bacteriophage-based biopesticides in the control of xanthomonads in the future.
Keywords: Xanthomonas spp.; bacteriophage therapy; bacteriophages; biological control.