Structural characterisation of the interaction between Triticum aestivum and the dothideomycete pathogen Stagonospora nodorum
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The interaction between Stagonospora nodorum and a susceptible wheat cultivar was investigated using a range of microscopic techniques. Germination of pycnidiospores occurred approximately 3 h after making contact with the leaf surface and was followed by attempted penetration 8–12 h later. Penetration was observed through stomata and also directly through periclinal and anticlinal epidermal cell walls. Penetration down the anticlinal cell walls appeared to occur without a differentiated penetrating structure whilst structures identified as either lateral appressoria or hyphopodia were typically present when penetrating over a periclinal cell wall. Once inside the leaf, the fungus continued to grow for the next 4–5 days colonising all parts of the leaf except the vascular bundles. Only in the later phase of the infection was total host cell collapse apparent. Evidence of polyphenolic compounds was observed. The infection cycle was completed within 7 days as indicated by sporulation on the leaf surface. These results have allowed us to understand how the fungus physically interacts with the leaf and will help the overall understanding of the infection process.
A copy of this item may be available from Professor Richard Oliver
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