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Histopathological Study of Barley Cultivars Resistant and Susceptible to Rhynchosporium secalis

January 2000 , Volume 90 , Number  1
Pages  94 - 102

K. Xi Carisse , P. A. Burnett , J. P. Tewari , M. H. Chen , T. K. Turkington , and J. H. Helm

First and sixth authors: Alberta Agriculture, c/o Lacombe Research Centre, 6000 C & E Trail, AB, Canada T4L 1W1; second author: Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre, P.O. Box 3000, Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1J 4B1; third author: Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2P5; fourth author: Medicine/Dentistry Electron Microscopy Unit, Surgical-Medical Research Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2N8; and fifth author: Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe Research Centre, 6000 C & E Trail, Lacombe, AB, Canada T4L 1W1

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Accepted for publication 4 October 1999.

Differences in the penetration process by Rhynchosporium secalis were compared in resistant and susceptible barley cultivars at the seedling stage. Percent penetration and percent host cell wall alteration (HCWA) differed significantly among cultivars and isolates as revealed by light microscopy. Based on these two variables, the cultivars were statistically separated into two groups that corresponded to their disease reactions. The resistant cultivars, Johnston and CDC Guardian, showed 81.2 to 99.4% HCWA and 0.1 to 20.1% penetration at encounter sites, whereas the susceptible cultivars, Harrington, Argyle, and Manley, had 30.1 to 78.3% HCWA and 31.8 to 81.8% penetration. In the current study, cv. Leduc, which is susceptible at the seedling stage and resistant at the adult stage, showed the same percent HCWA and penetration as did susceptible cultivars. A significant negative correlation (P < 0.01) was found between percent penetration and percent HCWA for cultivars inoculated with two isolates of the pathogen. Isolate 1 was less virulent than isolate 2 with respect to percent penetration and induced significantly fewer HCWA. Scanning electron microscopy showed various shapes of fungal appressoria but no apparent difference in host reaction between resistant and susceptible cultivars. Transmission electron microscopy revealed interactions between the host and pathogen at various stages of penetration. The resistant cv. Johnston responded by producing appositions, as evidenced by a layer of compact osmiophilic material deposited on the inner side of the cell wall. Infection pegs produced by conidia were unable to penetrate the cuticle where an apposition had formed inside. When penetration occurred in the susceptible cv. Argyle, cytoplasmic aggregates and separation of the plasmalemma were visible from the host cell wall, but the layer of compact osmiophilic material was not always present. Data based on light microscopic observations suggested that HCWA may be one of the mechanisms responsible for resistance that is characterized as penetration prevention rather than as a slow rate of mycelial growth after successful penetration. HCWA occurred in response to attempted cuticle penetration, suggesting that HCWA may produce chemical barriers that help to prevent penetration.

© 2000 The American Phytopathological Society