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Pathogenesis of Eutypa lata in Grapevine: Identification of Virulence Factors and Biochemical Characterization of Cordon Dieback

February 2008 , Volume 98 , Number  2
Pages  222 - 229

P. E. Rolshausen, L. C. Greve, J. M. Labavitch, N. E. Mahoney, R. J. Molyneux, and W. D. Gubler

First, second, third, and sixth authors: University of California, Department of Plant Pathology, One Shields Avenue, Davis 95616; fourth and fifth authors: Western Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 800 Buchanan Street, Albany, Berkeley CA.

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Accepted for publication 17 September 2007.

Eutypa lata is a vascular pathogen of woody plants. In the present study we (i) determined which component(s) of the cell wall polymers were degraded in naturally infected grapevines and in artificially inoculated grape wood blocks; (ii) compared the pattern of wood decay in the tolerant grape cv. Merlot versus the susceptible cv. Cabernet Sauvignon; and (iii) identified secondary metabolites and hydrolytic enzymes expressed by E. lata during wood degradation. Biochemical analyses and a cytochemical study indicated that glucose-rich polymers were primary targets of E. lata. Structural glucose and xylose of the hemicellulose fraction of the plant cell wall and starch were depleted in infected woods identically in both cultivars. Moreover, the more tolerant cv. Merlot always had more lignin in the wood than the susceptible cv. Cabernet Sauvignon, indicating that this polymer may play a role in disease resistance. In vitro assays demonstrated the production by E. lata of oxidases, glycosidases and starch degrading enzymes. Phytotoxic secondary metabolites were also produced but our data suggest that they may bind to the wood. Finally, we demonstrated that free glucose in liquid cultures repressed primary but not secondary metabolism.

Additional keywords:ascomycetes, fungi, gas chromatography, soft-rot, xylariales.

© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society