First and fourth authors: Department of Postharvest Science of Fresh Produce, ARO, the Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel 50250; first and third authors: Department of Molecular Biology, and second author: Department of Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Medicine, Israel 91120
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Accepted for publication 14 September 2006.
The contribution of gluconic acid secretion to the colonization of apple tissue by Penicillium expansum was analyzed by modulation (increase or decrease) of gluconic acid accumulation at the infection court. P. expansum isolates that express the most gox2 transcripts and concomitant glucose oxidase (GOX) activity and that secrete the most gluconic acid cause disease of apple at the fastest rate. Cultures grown under reduced oxygen concentration generated fewer gox2 transcripts, produced less gluconic acid, and led to a 15% reduction in disease. Furthermore, the detection of significantly high levels of transcripts of gox2 and GOX activity at the edge of the decaying tissue emphasize the involvement of GOX in tissue acidification of the decaying tissue. Taken together, these results emphasize the importance of GOX in the production of the gluconic acid that leads, in turn, to host tissue acidification. This acidification enhanced the expression of pectolytic enzymes and the establishment of conditions for necrotrophic development of P. expansum.
© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society