Anatomical and cellular responses of Pinus monticola stem tissues to invasion by Cronartium ribicola
White pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola) causes extensive damage to white pines and their associated ecosystems across North America. The anatomical and cellular characteristics of C. ribicola colonization in Pinus monticola branch and stem tissues were studied as a basis for understanding host tree reactions that may be related to resistance. Samples examined showed typical fusiform swelling and some had produced aecia. The reaction of phloem and xylem tissues was compared with non-infected tissue using light and electron microscopy. Cortical parenchyma and phloem polyphenolic parenchyma cells underwent mitotic division, cell swelling, and ca sixfold greater accumulation of phenolic compounds in colonized vs. control stems. In the cortex and secondary phloem, haustoria were common in parenchymatous cells, and hyphae were abundant in the intercellular spaces, but cell death was rare, unless aecia had ruptured the stem cortex. Hyphae were also common in xylem rays, tracheids and between tracheids. Disease-induced changes in the cambial zone included development of cambium-derived xylem traumatic resin ducts. Results demonstrate that diverse host defence responses were activated in the bark of apparently susceptible trees, but lack of mechanical damage by C. ribicola to the phenol-containing host cells and the resin duct system allowed extensive colonization and development of aecia despite elicitation of these stem defences. Interactions between P. monticola and C. ribicola are discussed and compared with other conifer–fungus pathosystems.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: USDA Forest Service, RMRS, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, 1221 S. Main St., Moscow, ID 83843, USA 2: School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, 99164-4236, USA
Publication date: 2005-12-01