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Pathogenesis-Related Protein Expression in the Apoplast of Wheat Leaves Protected Against Leaf Rust Following Application of Plant Extracts

September 2014 , Volume 104 , Number  9
Pages  933 - 944

Rabia Naz, Asghari Bano, Neil L. Wilson, David Guest and Thomas H. Roberts

First and second authors: Department of Plant Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan; third author: Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, and fourth and fifth authors: Department of Plant and Food Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 Australia.

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Accepted for publication 18 February 2014.

Leaf rust (Puccinia triticina) is a major disease of wheat. We tested aqueous leaf extracts of Jacaranda mimosifolia (Bignoniaceae), Thevetia peruviana (Apocynaceae), and Calotropis procera (Apocynaceae) for their ability to protect wheat from leaf rust. Extracts from all three species inhibited P. triticina urediniospore germination in vitro. Plants sprayed with extracts before inoculation developed significantly lower levels of disease incidence (number of plants infected) than unsprayed, inoculated controls. Sprays combining 0.6% leaf extracts and 2 mM salicylic acid with the fungicide Amistar Xtra at 0.05% (azoxystrobin at 10 μg/liter + cyproconazole at 4 μg/liter) reduced disease incidence significantly more effectively than sprays of fungicide at 0.1% alone. Extracts of J. mimosifolia were most active, either alone (1.2%) or in lower doses (0.6%) in combination with 0.05% Amistar Xtra. Leaf extracts combined with fungicide strongly stimulated defense-related gene expression and the subsequent accumulation of pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins in the apoplast of inoculated wheat leaves. The level of protection afforded was significantly correlated with the ability of extracts to increase PR protein expression. We conclude that pretreatment of wheat leaves with spray formulations containing previously untested plant leaf extracts enhances protection against leaf rust provided by fungicide sprays, offering an alternative disease management strategy.

Additional keywords: foliar spray, leaf rust.

© 2014 The American Phytopathological Society