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Fungal Colonization and Host Defense Reactions in Ulmus americana Callus Cultures Inoculated with Ophiostoma novo-ulmi

June 2009 , Volume 99 , Number  6
Pages  642 - 650

Mirella Aoun, Danny Rioux, Marie Simard, and Louis Bernier

First and fourth authors: Centre d'étude de la forêt (CEF), Université Laval, Quebec City, QC, Canada G1V 0A6; and second and third authors: Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, P.O. Box 10380, Sainte Foy, Quebec City QC, Canada G1V 4C7.

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Accepted for publication 10 February 2009.

The host--pathogen interaction leading to Dutch elm disease was analyzed using histo- and cyto-chemical tests in an in vitro system. Friable and hard susceptible Ulmus americana callus cultures were inoculated with the highly aggressive pathogen Ophiostoma novo-ulmi. Inoculated callus tissues were compared with water-treated callus tissues and studied with light microscopy (LM), transmission-electron microscopy (TEM), and scanning-electron microscopy (SEM). New aspects of this interaction are described. These include the histological observation, for the first time in plant callus cultures, of suberin with its typical lamellar structure in TEM and the intracellular presence of O. novo-ulmi. Expression of the phenylalanine ammonia lyase gene, monitored by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, was correlated with the accumulation of suberin, phenols, and lignin in infected callus cultures. This study validates the potential use of the in vitro system for genomic analyses aimed at identifying genes expressed during the interaction in the Dutch elm disease pathosystem.

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society