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Partial Resistance of Tomato to Phytophthora infestans Is Not Dependent upon Ethylene, Jasmonic Acid, or Salicylic Acid Signaling Pathways

February 2003 , Volume 16 , Number  2
Pages  141 - 148

C. D. Smart , 1 K. L. Myers , 1 S. Restrepo , 1 G. B. Martin , 1 , 2 and W. E. Fry 1

1Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, 334 Plant Science Building, Ithaca, NY 14853 U.S.A.; 2Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853-1801 U.S.A.

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Accepted 22 October 2002.

We compared tomato defense responses to Phytophthora infestans in highly compatible and partially compatible interactions. The highly compatible phenotype was achieved with a tomato-specialized isolate of P. infestans, whereas the partially compatible phenotype was achieved with a nonspecialized isolate. As expected, there was induction of the hypersensitive response (HR) earlier during the partially compatible interaction. However, contrary to our expectation, pathogenesis-related (PR) gene expression was not stimulated sooner in the partially compatible interaction. While the level of PR gene expression was quite similar in the two interactions, the LeDES gene (which encodes an enzyme necessary for the production of divinyl ethers) was expressed at a much higher level in the partially compatible interaction at 48 h after inoculation. Host reaction to the different pathogen genotypes was not altered (compared with wild type) in mutant tomatoes that were ethylene-insensitive (Never-ripe) or those with reduced ability to accumulate jasmonic acid (def-1). Similarly, host reaction was not altered in NahG transgenic tomatoes unable to accumulate salicylic acid. These combined data indicate that partial resistance in tomato to P. infestans is independent of ethylene, jasmonic acid, and salicylic acid signaling pathways.

© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society