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Tissue Dependence and Differential Cordycepin Sensitivity of Race-Specific Resistance Responses in the Barley-Powdery Mildew Interaction

September 1997 , Volume 10 , Number  7
Pages  830 - 839

Ruth Schiffer , 1 Regina Görg , 2 Birgit Jarosch , 1 Uli Beckhove , 1 Gregor Bahrenberg , 2 Karl-Heinz Kogel , 1 and Paul Schulze-Lefert 3

1Institut für Phytopathologie und Angewandte Zoologie, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Ludwigstr. 23, D-35390 Giessen, Germany; 2Institut für Biologie I, Technical University of Aachen, Worringer Weg, D-52074 Aachen, Germany; 3The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich NR4 7UH, UK

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Accepted 31 May 1997.

Epidermal cell monolayers prepared from partially dissected barley (Hordeum vulgare) coleoptiles were used for in vivo analysis of race-specific resistance to powdery mildew (Erysiphe graminis f. sp. hordei) specified by host genes Mla-1, Mla-12, and Mlg. Complete resistance governed by each of these genes is closely associated with hypersensitive cell death (hypersensitive response, HR) in primary leaf tissue. In contrast, Mla-12 coleoptile tissue reveals a fully compatible, Mla-1 coleoptile tissue a partially compatible, and Mlg coleoptile tissue an incompatible interaction upon challenge with pathogen races carrying corresponding avirulence functions. Quantitative recording of single plant-fungus interaction sites showed arrest of fungal development in papillae on Mlg coleoptiles. On Mla-1 and Mla-12 coleoptiles, attacked cells become predominantly penetrated by the fungus. Approximately one third of penetrated cells on Mla-1 coleoptiles subsequently undergo an HR. These sites reveal no further fungal development. Both Mlg and Mla-12 coleoptiles fail to mount an HR. The effect of cordycepin (3′-deoxyadenosine), an inhibitor of mRNA synthesis, was studied in planta on primary leaf tissue of Mla-12 and Mlg genotypes. Host cell death triggered by either gene is reduced to background levels observed in the near-isogenic compatible interaction and exhibits the same dose-dependent cordycepin sensitivity. Inhibition of Mlg-triggered, single-cell HR is not accompanied by release of fungal growth arrest, indicating cordycepin insensitivity of a papillae-associated resistance component. The data suggest that host cell death is a requisite component for expression of Mla-type but not Mlg-type resistance.

© 1997 The American Phytopathological Society