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Histological, physiological and molecular investigations of Fagus sylvatica seedlings infected with Phytophthora citricola

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The aim of the work was to shed light into histological, physiological and molecular changes of Fagus sylvatica seedlings infected with the root pathogen Phytophthora citricola with the final goal to distinguish between local and systemic responses. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis proved that P. citricola was able to grow from infected roots into hypocotyl and epicotyl tissue of F. sylvatica seedlings. Light microscopy showed many collapsed parenchyma cells of the cortex without being penetrated by the pathogen. Hyphae were mainly growing intracellular in parenchyma and xylem tissue. Transmission electron microscopy displayed disintegration of xylem vessels and of parenchyma cells. Inhibition of water uptake of infected beech seedlings was positively correlated with the concentration of zoospores used in the experiment. In addition, a split root experiment indicated that invertases were possibly involved locally and systemically in the conversion of sucrose of P. citricola infected roots. During the growth of the pathogen in roots, a transient expression of the 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC)-oxidase gene was quantified in leaves which was detected in parallel with the first peak of a biphasic ethylene outburst. Additionally a systemic upregulation of aquaporin transcripts was mainly detected in leaves of beech seedlings infected with P. citricola.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Section Pathology of Woody Plants, Technische Universität München, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, 85354 Freising, Germany 2: Zentrum Holzwirtschaft, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany 3: Biochemical Plant Pathology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany 4: Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Agricultural Zoology, ESALQ, University of Sao Paulo, Piracicaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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