Associate Professors, Unit of Plant Physiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Avda. Diagonal 645, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain
Ultrastructural alterations in epidermal and mesophyll cells and variations in endogenous zeatin riboside (ZR) concentrations were studied in leaves of Hedera helix, Pelargonium zonale, Pru-nus avium, and Rubus ulmifolius infected by Colletotrichum trichellum, Puccinia pelargonii-zonalis, Cercospora circumscissa, and Phragmidium violaceum, respectively. Infected tissues showed a marked increase in vesicles, myelin-like structures, and electron-dense bodies associated with plasma membranes. The main changes to the chloroplast included thylakoid swelling and disruption of the chloroplast envelope. The ZR content of the green islands was always higher than that of the yellow, senescent parts of the same leaves; the highest levels of ZR were observed in the green areas of infected Prunus avium (462.2 pmol g-1 fresh weight [FW]) and Rubus ulmifolius (441.6 pmol g-1 FW), followed by Pelargonium zonale (263.8 pmol g-1 FW) and Hedera helix (219.8 pmol g-1 FW); the yellow zones of the same leaves had lower ZR contents (78.3, 73.9, 73.6, and 18.1 pmol g-1 FW, respectively). The green islands had almost the same ZR content as the controls (green healthy leaves). These results suggest a relationship between ultrastructural alterations and ZR content of these plant species (blackberry, cherry, English ivy, geranium) in reacting to this type of biotic stress and could confirm the role of cytokinins as senescence-delaying hormones.
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay,