P. Karlovsky, and
A. von Tiedemann
First author: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 107 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK S7N 0X2, Canada; second and fourth authors: Plant Pathology and Plant Protection Division, Department of Crop Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Georg-August University Göttingen, Grisebachstraße 6, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany; and third author: Molecular Phytopathology and Mycotoxin Research Division, Department of Crop Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Georg-August University Göttingen, Grisebachstraße 6, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany.
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Accepted for publication 2 March 2009.
Verticillium longisporum is a vascular fungal pathogen presently threatening oilseed rape production in Europe. Systemic spread and vascular responses were studied in a susceptible (‘Falcon’) and a resistant genotype (SEM 05-500256) of Brassica napus. Colonization of both genotypes after dip-inoculation of the roots followed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction revealed similarities only in the initial stages of root penetration and colonization of the hypocotyl, while a substantial invasion of the shoot was only recorded in ‘Falcon’. It is concluded that the type of resistance represented in SEM 05-500256 does not prevent the plant base from being invaded as it is internally expressed well after root penetration and colonization of the plant base. The morphological and biochemical nature of barriers induced in the hypocotyl tissue upon infection was studied with histochemical methods accompanied by biochemical analyses. Histochemical studies revealed the build-up of vascular occlusions and the reinforcement of tracheary elements through the deposition of cell wall-bound phenolics and lignin. Furthermore, the accumulation of soluble phenolics was observed. Although these responses were found in vascular tissues of both genotypes, they occurred with a significantly higher intensity in the resistant genotype and corresponded with the disease phenotype. In the resistant genotype phenols were differentially expressed in a time-dependent manner with preformed soluble and cell wall-bound phenolics at earlier time points and de novo formation of lignin and lignin-like polymers at later stages of infection. This is the first study identifying a crucial role of phenol metabolism in internal defense of B. napus against V. longisporum and locating the crucial defense responses in the plant hypocotyl.
© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society