, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 89-96

Modification of competence for in vitro response to Fusarium oxysporum in tomato cells. II. Effect of the integration of Agrobacterium tumefaciens genes for auxin and cytokinin synthesis

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We have studied the effect of a change in the endogenous hormone equilibria on the competence of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) cells to defend themselves against the fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici. Calluses from cvs ‘Davis’ and ‘Red River’, respectively resistant and susceptible to Fusarium and transgenic for an auxin- or cytokinin-synthesizing gene from Agrobacterium tumefaciens, were used. The integration of Agrobacterium hormone-related genes into susceptible cv ‘Red River’ can bring the activation of defense processes to a stable competence as assessed by the inhibition of mycelial growth in dual culture and gem-tube elongation of Fusarium conidia, the determination of callose contents, peroxidase induction and ion leakage in the presence of fusaric acid. This is particularly true when the transformation results in a change of phytohormone equilibria towards an higher cytokin in concentration. On the contrary, in resistant cv ‘Davis’ the inhibition of both fungal growth in dual culture and conidia germination is higher when the hormone balance is modified in favour of the auxins. No significant effect was observed for ion leakage and peroxidase induction, probably because of a constitutive overproduction of cytokinins in ‘Davis’ cells.

Communicated by G. Wenzel