Anatomical response and infection of soybean during latent and pathogenic infection by type A and B of Phialophora gregata

Ann E. Impullitti, Dean K. Malvick

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6 Scopus citations


Growth and anatomical responses of plants during latent and pathogenic infection by fungal pathogens are not well understood. The interactions between soybean (Glycine max ) and two types of the pathogen Phialophora gregata were investigated to determine how plants respond during latent and pathogenic infection. Stems of soybean cultivars with different or no genes for resistance to infection by P. gregata were inoculated with wildtype or GFP and RFP-labeled strains of types A or B of P. gregata. Plants were sectioned during latent and pathogenic infection, examined with transmitted light or fluorescent microscopy, and quantitative differences in vessels and qualitative differences in infection were assessed using captured images. During latent infection, the number of vessels was similar in resistant and susceptible plants infected with type A or B compared to the control, and fungal infection was rarely observed in vessels. During pathogenic infection, the resistant cultivars had 20 to 25% more vessels than the uninfected plants, and fungal hyphae were readily observed in the vessels. Furthermore, during the pathogenic phase in a resistant cultivar, P.gregata type A-GFP was limited to outside of the primary xylem, while P.gregata type B-RFP was observed in the primary xylem. The opposite occurred with the susceptible cultivar, where PgA-GFP was observed in the primary xylem and PgB-RFP was limited to the interfascicular region. In summary, soybean cultivars with resistance to BSR produced more vessels and can restrict or exclude P. gregata from the vascular system compared to susceptible cultivars. Structural resistance mechanisms potentially compensate for loss of vessel function and disrupted water movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere98311
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 30 2014

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