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A Faster and a Stronger Defense Response: One of the Key Elements in Grapevine Explaining Its Lower Level of Susceptibility to Esca?

October 2013 , Volume 103 , Number  10
Pages  1,028 - 1,034

Carole Lambert, Ian Li Kim Khiook, Sylvia Lucas, Nadège Télef-Micouleau, Jean-Michel Mérillon, and Stéphanie Cluzet

Université de Bordeaux, Groupe d'Etude des Substances Végétales à Activité Biologique (GESVAB), EA 3675, Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin, 210 Chemin de Leysotte, CS 50008, F-33882 Villenave d'Ornon Cedex, France.

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Accepted for publication 17 April 2013.

Wood diseases like Esca are among the most damaging afflictions in grapevine. The defense mechanisms in this plant–pathogen interaction are not well understood. As some grapevine cultivars have been observed to be less susceptible to Esca than others, understanding the factors involved in this potentially stronger defense response can be of great interest. To lift part of this veil, we elicited Vitis vinifera plants of two cultivars less susceptible to Esca (‘Merlot’ and ‘Carignan’) and of one susceptible cultivar (‘Cabernet Sauvignon’), and monitored their defense responses at the leaf level. Our model of elicitation consisted in grapevine cuttings absorbing a culture filtrate of one causal agent of Esca, Phaemoniella chlamydospora. This model might reflect the early events occurring in Esca-affected grapevines. The two least susceptible cultivars showed an earlier and stronger defense response than the susceptible one, particularly with regard to induction of the PAL and STS genes, and a higher accumulation of stilbene compounds and some pathogenesis-related proteins.

Additional keywords: polyphenols, stilbenoids, wood decay.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society