Link to home

Alternaria brassicae Produces a Host-Specific Protein Toxin from Germinating Spores on Host Leaves

April 2008 , Volume 98 , Number  4
Pages  458 - 463

R. Y. Parada, E. Sakuno, N. Mori, K. Oka, M. Egusa, M. Kodama, and H. Otani

First, third, and fifth authors: The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Tottori University, Tottori 680-8553, Japan; second, fourth, sixth, and seventh authors: Faculty of Agriculture, Tottori University, 4-101 Koyama-Minami, Tottori 680-8553, Japan.

Go to article:
Accepted for publication 27 November 2007.

Spore suspensions of Alternaria brassicae, the causal agent of gray leaf spot in Brassica plants, were incubated on the leaves of cabbage (B. oleracea) and spore germination fluid (SGF) was collected after 48 h. A high molecular weight (HMW) fraction (>10 kDa) was separated from the SGF by ultrafiltration. In a detached leaf assay, the HMW fraction induced visible symptoms only on host leaves and the toxicity was lost by treatment with proteinase K or heat at 60°C for 15 min, indicating the presence of host-specific protein toxin(s). A protein toxin in the HMW fraction was purified by several chromatography steps. The toxin induced water-soaked symptoms followed by chlorosis at concentrations of 0.5 to 1 μg/ml on host leaves, but not on nonhost leaves even at 50 μg/ml. The toxin also had infection-inducing activity when added to spore suspension of a nonpathogenic isolate of A. alternata, causing symptoms similar to the infection of A. brassicae only on host leaves. These results indicate that a new host-specific protein toxin named ABR-toxin is released from germinating spores of A. brassicae on host leaves. ABR-toxin migrated as a protein of 27.5 kDa by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The isoelectric point of ABR-toxin was estimated to be approximately 7.0 and 21 N-terminal amino acid residues were sequenced.

© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society