Infection and colonization of eight daylily cultivars, which varied in resistance to daylily rust, by Puccinia hemerocallidis was studied macroscopically and microscopically. After germination of urediniospores, appressoria formed at the tip of germ tubes and the fungus penetrated the host through stomatal openings 2 days after inoculation (DAI). Under the infection sites, intercellular hyphae aggregated and formed uredia, which released urediniospores 8 DAI. Resistant cultivars, characterized by the development of rapid death of host cells, were separated into three qualitative categories based on absence and presence of necrotic lesions without or with sporulation. In highly resistant cvs. Prairie Blue Eyes and Bertie Ferris, no macroscopic disease symptoms were observed on leaf surfaces although a few collapsed cells were detected microscopically. Both resistant and moderately resistant reactions were characterized by necrotic lesions with many collapsed cells under infection sites. The difference between these two reactions was that uredia and urediniospores were observed in the moderately resistant cv. Chicago Apache, but not in resistant cvs. Buttered Popcorn and Stella De Oro. Susceptible cultivars, characterized by the absence of a hypersensitive response, were separated into two qualitative categories based on restriction of intercellular hyphal growth that delayed development of uredia and formation of urediniospores. Compared to the susceptible cv. Pardon Me, moderately susceptible cvs. Mary Todd and Chorus Line had a delayed latent period and reduced amount of sporulation. The results indicate that hypersensitive cell death is one of the resistance responses to daylily rust. Necrotic lesions on leaf surfaces are associated with the number of collapsed host cells. Delayed latent period and reduced sporulation that resulted from restriction of intercellular hyphal growth could represent another type of resistance response in the daylily-rust pathosystem.
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