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Infection by phytophthora cinnamomi Rands of roots of Eucalyptus calophylla R.Br. and Eucalyptus marginata Donn. ex Sm

Malajczuk, N., McComb, A.J. and Parker, C.A. (1977) Infection by phytophthora cinnamomi Rands of roots of Eucalyptus calophylla R.Br. and Eucalyptus marginata Donn. ex Sm. Australian Journal of Botany, 25 (5). pp. 483-500.

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On lateritic podzolic soils in Western Australia Eucalyptus calophylla is resistant to Phytophthora cinnamomi whereas Eucalyptus marginata is susceptible and eventually killed by the pathogen. On loam soils both eucalypts are resistant. Possible mechanisms for resistance of E. calophylla in lateritic soil and the inhibitory action of loam soils were investigated.

Aseptically raised eucalypt seedlings succumbed to infection in liquid culture tubes. The mechanism of infection was compared by light and electron microscopy which showed similar fungal invasion and penetration into roots of both eucalypt species. Vegetative hyphae initially penetrated intercellularly and proliferated rapidly within cortical and stelar tissue. Intracellular invasion of these tissues occurred 48hr after initial infection through dissolution of the host cell wall. Chlamydospores were formed within a number of cortical cells. Unsuberized roots of mature trees produced aseptically showed reactions to invasion similar to those of the eucalypt seedling roots. Suberized roots were not invaded.

The addition of small quantities of lateritic soil to sterile sand so as to introduce soil micro-organisms without altering the chemical and physical status of the sand, and subsequent inoculation of the sand with P.cinnamomi, resulted in a reduction of root damage on both eucalypts when compared with seedlings raised in sterile sand. Roots of E.calophylla were less severely damaged than those of E.marginata. The addition of small quantities of loam soil significantly reduced root damage in seedlings of both species. These results parallel both pot experiments and field observations, and suggest that microorganisms of the rhizosphere may be an important factor in the resistance of E.calophylla to infection, and in the inhibitory effect of loam soil on P.cinnamomi.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: © CSIRO 1977
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