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Open Access Infection process of Phakopsora gossypii in cotton leaves

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ABSTRACT Tropical rust caused by the biotrophic fungus Phakopsora gossypii is an emerging disease in cotton that has caused significant yield losses of crop/cotton cultivated in Brazil. Considering the current importance of tropical rust and the need to obtain additional basic information about its causal agent to better control this disease, the present study aimed to determine the infection process of P. gossypii in cotton leaves using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Thirty-day-old plants were inoculated with a suspension of P. gossypii uredospores, and leaf fragments were collected 42 h after inoculation (hai) as well as 20, 25 and 35 days after inoculation (dai) for SEM observations. By 42 hai, the uredospores of P. gossypii had germinated and produced a germ tube and an appressorium that may directly penetrate the leaf cuticle. At 20 dai, closed uredia containing uredospores were observed on the abaxial leaf surface. At 25 dai, the uredia started to open and became fully open by 35 dai and contained many uredospores. By 25 dai, fungal hyphae were growing abundantly in the mesophyll next to the uredia that formed in the leaf fragments with total or partial removal of the epidermis. The results of the present study provide novel information regarding the infection process of P. gossypii in cotton leaves, which might be useful for the development of new and more effective strategies for tropical rust control.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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