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Effects of Milsana and Benzothiadiazole on the Ultrastructure of Powdery Mildew Haustoria on Cucumber

September 1999 , Volume 89 , Number  9
Pages  728 - 736

Kirstin Wurms , Caroline Labbé , Nicole Benhamou , and Richard R. Bélanger

First, second, and fourth authors: Laboratoire de Biocontrôle, Département de Phytologie, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Québec, Canada G1K 7P4; and third author: Département de Phytologie, Recherche en Sciences de la Vie et de la Santé, Pavillon C. E. Marchand, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Québec, Canada G1K 7P4

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Accepted for publication 17 May 1999.

Disease assessments and cytological investigations provided valuable information on the modes of action and efficacies of two prophylactic compounds, Milsana and benzothiadiazole (BTH), against powdery mildew development on long English cucumber. Milsana application significantly reduced disease incidence relative to inoculated controls through induction of localized resistance. Microscopic observations showed most haustoria had collapsed in the localized Milsana treatment and were encapsulated by an amorphous material impregnated by electron-opaque substances. The rapidity of haustorial collapse (within 4 days of treatment application) together with the encasement by electron-dense substances stained blue by toluidine blue O suggest that phenolics are possibly involved in the Milsana defense response. Cytochemical labeling of chitin with a wheat germ agglutinin/ovomucoid-gold complex showed that complete cellular disorganization of the fungus had occurred without disturbance to chitin in the walls of mycelia and haustoria. This may indicate that chitinolytic activity is not important in the Milsana-activated defense response. Application of high doses of BTH induced occasional cell wall thickening and accumulation of a compound that stained purple by toluidine blue O, but the defense response was weak, sporadic, and insufficient to reduce powdery mildew infection on cucumber. Responses to BTH could not be differentiated in terms of timing of the initial application or systemicity.

Additional keywords: Cucumis sativus, induced resistance, Sphaerotheca fuliginea.

© 1999 The American Phytopathological Society