In the forest of Northern Hemisphere, the fungi Heterobasidion annosum (Fr.) Bref. s.l. causes severe root and stem rot diseases, dramatically reducing the wood quality of conifer trees. The hallmark of the host response during the infection process is the formation of necrotic lesions and reaction zones. To characterize physiochemical and molecular features of the necrotic lesion, we conducted artificial inoculations on Norway spruce plants at different developmental stages: seedlings, young and mature trees. The results were further compared against data available on the formation of reaction zones. Strong necrosis browning or enlarged necrotic lesions were observed in infected tissues. This was accompanied by elevated pH. However, the increased pH, around 6.0 in necrotic lesions, was not as high as that documented in reaction zones, above 7.0 as marked by the intensity of the blue colour in response to 2,6-dichlorophenol indophenol dye. Peroxidase activity increased in infected plants and RNA-seq analysis of necrotic lesions showed marked upregulation of defence-related genes. Our findings highlight similarities and differences between the reaction zone and necrotic lesion formation in response of conifer trees to biotic stress.
- 1184 Genetiikka, kehitysbiologia, fysiologia
- 11831 Kasvibiologia