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The Role of Primary and Secondary Infection in Host Response to Plasmodiophora brassicae

October 2014 , Volume 104 , Number  10
Pages  1,078 - 1,087

Mary Ruth McDonald, Kalpana Sharma, Bruce D. Gossen, Abhinandan Deora, Jie Feng, and Sheau-Fang Hwang

First, second, and fourth authors: Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1 Canada; second, third, and fourth authors: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon Research Centre, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 0X2 Canada; fifth and sixth authors: Crop Diversification Centre North, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Edmonton, AB, T5Y 6H3 Canada.

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Accepted for publication 7 March 2014.

The disease cycle of Plasmodiophora brassicae consists of a primary phase in root hairs followed by a secondary phase in the root cortex and adjacent tissues. However, the role of root hair infection in subsequent cortical infection and development of P. brassicae is not well understood. To examine the role of the primary and secondary stages separately, inoculation studies with resting spores (source of primary zoospores) and secondary zoospores of a virulent and avirulent pathotype were conducted on canola (Brassica napus). The size of secondary zoospores and number of nuclei were also examined. The zoospores were larger (≈9.6 to 14.4 μm) than in previous reports and all were uninucleate. Inoculation with secondary zoospores alone produced both primary and secondary infection, even with the avirulent pathotype. No symptoms developed from inoculation with avirulent primary zoospores but tiny, bead-shaped clubs developed from inoculation with avirulent secondary zoospores. Inoculation with virulent secondary zoospores alone resulted in lower disease severity than inoculation with virulent resting spores alone. The results indicate that recognition of infection by the host and initiation of a response (induction or suppression of resistance) occurs during primary infection, although recognition can also occur during cortical infection and development.

Additional keyword: clubroot.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada