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Differential effects of nutrient availability on the secondary metabolism of Austrian pine (Pinus nigra) phloem and resistance to Diplodia pinea

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Nutrient availability can modulate the incidence and severity of plant diseases. We examined the effects of fertility on (i) host resistance and (ii) secondary metabolite production in the Pinus nigra Arnold –Diplodia pinea (Desm.) Kickx pathosystem. Following preconditioning of trees to one of three fertility levels for one growing season, phloem tissue of one branch was harvested for chemical analyses while another branch on the same whorl was inoculated with the fungus to assess resistance. Nutrient availability had concave and convex quadratic effects on concentrations of total monoterpenes and total phenolics respectively, but had no effect on fungal lesion lengths. Lesion lengths were negatively correlated with lignin, suggesting that this compound is an important factor in resistance. Counteracting effects of nutrient availability on phenolic and terpenoid pathways may explain why fertility had no effect on expression of disease resistance.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science and Technology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA 2: Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering, The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Wooster, OH, USA 3: Department of Biological Sciences, Wright State University, Dayton, OH, USA 4: Department of Entomology, The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Wooster, OH, USA 5: Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University, 201 Kottman Hall, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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