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Evidence for Antibiosis and Induced Host Defense Reactions in the Interaction Between Verticillium lecanii and Penicillium digitatum, the Causal Agent of Green Mold

September 2000 , Volume 90 , Number  9
Pages  932 - 943

Nicole Benhamou and Jacques Brodeur

First author: Recherche en Sciences de la vie et de la santé, Pavillon Charles-Eugéne Marchand, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Québec, Canada, G1K 7P4; and second author: Département de phytologie, Centre de Recherche en Horticulture, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Québec, Canada, G1K 7P4

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Accepted for publication 29 May 2000.

Chronological events of the intercellular interaction between Verticillium lecanii and the postharvest pathogen Penicillium digitatum were investigated by transmission electron microscopy and gold cytochemistry. Growth inhibition of P. oligandrum as a response to V. lecanii attack correlated with striking host changes including retraction of the plasma membrane and cytoplasm disorganization. Such changes were associated with the deposition on the inner host cell surface of a chitin- and cellulose-enriched material which appeared to be laid down as a structural defense reaction. The accumulation of chitin in the newly formed material correlated with a decrease in the amount of wallbound chitin. However, the deposition of cellulose appeared to correspond to a de novo synthesis, as evidenced by the occurrence of cellulose-containing vesicles which released their content in the space between the invaginated plasma membrane and the host cell wall. Results of the present study provide the first ultrastructural and cytochemical evidence that antagonism, triggered by V. lecanii, is a multifaceted process in which antibiosis, with alteration of the host hyphae prior to contact with the antagonist, appears to be the key process in the antagonism against P. digitatum.

Additional keywords: biological control, elicitor, hydrolytic enzymes, toxin.

© 2000 The American Phytopathological Society