The hypersensitive response is associated with host and nonhost resistance to Phytophthora infestans
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The interaction between Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) de Bary and Solanum was examined cytologically using a diverse set of wild Solanum species and potato (S. tuberosum L.) cultivars with various levels of resistance to late blight. In wild Solanum species, in potato cultivars carrying known resistance (R) genes and in nonhosts the major defense reaction appeared to be the hypersensitive response (HR). In fully resistant Solanum species and nonhosts, the HR was fast and occurred within 22 h. This resulted in the death of one to three cells. In partially resistant clones, the HR was induced between 16 and 46 h, and resulted in HR lesions consisting of five or more dead cells, from which hyphae were occasionally able to escape to establish a biotrophic interaction. These results demonstrate the quantitative nature of the resistance to P. infestans. The effectiveness of the HR in restricting growth of the pathogen differed considerably between clones and correlated with resistance levels. Other responses associated with the defense reaction were deposition of callose and extracellular globules containing phenolic compounds. These globules were deposited near cells showing the HR, and may function in cell wall strengthening.
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