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Ophiostoma mitovirus 3a, ascorbic acid, glutathione, and photoperiod affect the development of stromata and apothecia by Sclerotinia homoeocarpa

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Hypovirulence in Sclerotinia homoeocarpa is associated with infection by Ophiostoma mitovirus 3a (OMV3a). OMV3a is also present in asymptomatic isolates, with growth and virulence comparable to that of virus-free isolates. Hypovirulent isolates have impaired mitochondrial function resulting in increased activity of the alternative oxidase pathway, which is implicated in the reduction of reactive oxygen species in other fungi. In this study, hypovirulent, asymptomatic, and virus-free isolates were grown on potato dextrose agar amended with ascorbic acid or glutathione and were incubated under various photoperiods to determine the importance of reactive oxygen species, light, and OMV3a infection for differentiation of stromata and apothecia by S. homoeocarpa. Hypovirulent isolates did not form stromata or apothecia. Glutathione and darkness reduced stromata size and apothecia production by virulent and asymptomatic isolates. Apothecia formed under several different photoperiods, and ascorbic acid increased apothecia production. Ascospores were not detected in these apothecia. The results suggest that hypovirulence, light, and the superoxide radical are important factors in the formation of stromata and apothecia by S. homoeocarpa isolates. This is the first report of sterile apothecia production by North American isolates of S. homoeocarpa and provides a starting point for attempts to produce fertile apothecia.

Keywords: apothecia; apothèque; brûlure en plaque; dollar spot; espèces réactives d’oxygène; hypovirulence; reactive oxygen species; stroma

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. 2: School of Environmental Sciences, 50 Stone Road, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.

Publication date: 2011-05-21

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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