European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 111, Issue 1, pp 19–28

Infection of wheat spikes by Fusarium avenaceum and alterations of cell wall components in the infected tissue

  • Zhensheng Kang
  • Irmgard Zingen-Sell
  • Heinrich Buchenauer
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10658-004-1983-9

Cite this article as:
Kang, Z., Zingen-Sell, I. & Buchenauer, H. Eur J Plant Pathol (2005) 111: 19. doi:10.1007/s10658-004-1983-9

Abstract

The infection process of Fusarium avenaceum on wheat spikes and the alteration of cell wall components in the infected host tissue were examined by means of electron microscopy and cytochemical labelling techniques following spray inoculation at growth stage (GS) 65 (mid-flowering). Macroconidia of the pathogen germinated with one to several germ-tubes 6–12 h after inoculation (hai) on host surfaces. The germ-tubes did not penetrate host tissues immediately, but extended and branched on the host surfaces. Hyphal growth on abaxial surfaces of the glume, lemma and palea was scanty 3–4 days after inoculation (dai) and no direct penetration of the outer surfaces of the spikelet was observed. Dense mycelial networks formed on the inner surfaces of the glume, lemma, palea and ovary 36–48 hai. Penetration of the host tissue occurred 36 hai by infection hyphae only on the adaxial surfaces of the glume, lemma, palea and upper part of ovary. The fungus penetrated the cuticle and hyphae extended subcuticularly or between the epidermal wall layers. The subcuticular growth phase was followed by penetration of the epidermal wall, and hyphae spread rapidly inter- and intracellularly in the glume, lemma, palea and ovary. During this necrotrophic colonization phase of the wheat spike, a series of alterations occurred in the host tissues, such as degeneration of cytoplasm and cell organelles, collapse of host cells and disintegration of host cell walls. Immunogold labelling techniques showed that cell walls of spike tissues contained reduced amounts of cellulose, xylan and pectin near intercellular hyphae or infection pegs compared to walls of healthy host tissues. These studies suggest that cell wall degrading enzymes produced by F. avenaceum facilitated rapid colonization of wheat spikes. The different penetration properties of abaxial and adaxial surfaces of the spikelet tissues as well as the two distinct colonization strategies of host tissues by F. avenaceum are discussed. The penetration and colonization behaviour of F. avenaceum in wheat spikelets resembled that of F. culmorum and F. graminearum, although mycotoxins produced by F. avenaceum differed from those of the latter two Fusarium species.

Keywords

degradation of cell wall componentsFusarium avenaceuminfection processTriticum aestivum

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhensheng Kang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Irmgard Zingen-Sell
    • 1
  • Heinrich Buchenauer
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Phytomedicine (360)University of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Plant Protection College, Northwest Sci.-Tch.University of Agriculture and ForestryYangling, ShaanxiPR China