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Penetration of suberized periderm of a woody host by Phytophthora cinnamomi

O'Gara, E., Howard, K., McComb, J., Colquhoun, I.J. and Hardy, G.E.St.J. (2015) Penetration of suberized periderm of a woody host by Phytophthora cinnamomi. Plant Pathology, 64 (1). pp. 207-215.

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The mechanisms by which Phytophthora cinnamomi zoospores infect inundated, above-ground woody stem tissue are described. Using 4-6- and 18-month-old jarrah seedlings, the infection courts were identified and the invasion of the stems at sites of zoospore cyst binding were described. Stems were inoculated with a suspension of motile zoospores on the green stem/young periderm region. Light microscopy was used to examine penetration at sites of taxis, and fluorescent microscopy was used to examine penetration sites of seedlings with intact periderm. Two main infection courts were identified on stems: the emerging axillary shoot and the region of stem immediately surrounding an axillary shoot, where the periderm was thin or discontinuous. Invasion also occurred at sites where the developing shoot had not yet emerged but was at the stem surface. At these sites the pathogen also directly invaded through the thin-walled phellem of the periderm surrounding the shoot. Zoospores of P. cinnamomi were not attracted to stomata on mature leaves or green stems. Penetration of the epidermal cell layer of the axillary bud leaf primordia was inter- and intra-cellular; growth of hyphae in the periderm surrounding the shoot was intercellular; while in collenchyma it was inter- and intra-cellular, being intercellular between polyphenolic-rich cells. Exposed stem collenchyma was also directly invaded immediately adjacent to the young axillary shoot. Zoospores demonstrated taxis to sites of discontinuous periderm, similar to wounded areas where the outer protective layers of the plant are breached. This study presents the first evidence that P. cinnamomi is capable of intercellular penetration of suberized periderm.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Copyright: © 2014 British Society for Plant Pathology.
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