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pH Regulates Endoglucanase Expression and Virulence of Alternaria alternata in Persimmon Fruit

August 2002 , Volume 15 , Number  8
Pages  774 - 779

Dani Eshel , 1 , 2 Itay Miyara , 1 Tong Ailing , 1 Amos Dinoor , 2 and Dov Prusky 1

1Department of Postharvest Science of Fresh Produce, Institute for Technology and Storage of Agricultural Products, The Volcani Center, Agricultural Research Organization, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel; and 2Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel

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Accepted 13 April 2002.

The phytopathogenic fungus Alternaria alternata produces one endo-1,4-β-glucanase, AaK1, which is an important factor in disease development in persimmon fruit. During growth of A. alternata in media containing acidified yeast extract or cell walls from persimmon fruit, the fungus secreted ammonia and raised the medium pH. A rise in media pH from 3.8 to 6.0 in the presence of cell walls induced the expression of AaK1, whereas a glucose-induced decline in pH to 2.5 repressed transcription and enzymatic production. Treatments with buffered solutions at pH 6.0 during growth of A. alternata in the presence of glucose derepressed AaK1 expression and endo-1,4-β-glucanase production and enhanced decay development on the fruit. The results suggest that conditions affecting environmental pH modulate gene expression of AaK1 and virulence of A. alternata in persimmon fruit.

Additional keyword: postharvest diseases .

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society