Journal of General Plant Pathology

, Volume 84, Issue 1, pp 2–11 | Cite as

Effects of oxalic acid and culture filtrate of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum on metabolic changes in sunflower evaluated using FT-IR spectroscopy

  • Maryam Monazzah
  • Mohammad Javad Soleimani
  • Sattar Tahmasebi Enferadi
  • Zohreh Rabiei
Host Responses


Sclerotinia sclerotiorum: (Lib.) de Bary is an important plant pathogenic fungus with a very wide host range. A virulence factor of many necrotrophic pathogens, including S. sclerotiorum, is oxalic acid (OA), which can disrupt plant cell wall integrity by chelating cell wall Ca2+ and acidifying host cells. Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, a powerful method to analyze chemical changes during plant–pathogen interactions, was used here to study metabolic changes in the stem of sunflower inbred lines after treatment with either synthetic OA or the fungal culture filtrate to further clarify the roles of OA in the infection process of S. sclerotiorum. The relative absorbance ratio of carbohydrate to lignin and main subunits of lignin also were calculated from the spectra. Principal component analysis and relative absorbance ratios were applied to find differences between the spectra of control and treated plants. Although the peak patterns of the spectra were common among all treatments, the peak intensities differed, and a shift to a longer or lower wavenumber of the bands was observed. The result of this study showed that, in addition to OA, other virulence factors may have key roles during pathogenesis of S. sclerotiorum and could facilitate the development of pathogen in plant tissues.


Helianthus annuus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum Plant defense Oxalic acid Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy 



The authors thank Bu-Ali Sina University and the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology for funding this research program under Grant no. 215858. The facilities and technical support provided by National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (NIGEB) are also appreciated.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. No financial relationships with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous 3 years or any other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work. All authors agree to allow the journal to review their data if requested. The first author had financial support from Bu-Ali Sina University for the submitted work.

Ethical standards

The experiments comply with current Iranian laws for ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© The Phytopathological Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Pathology, Faculty of AgricultureBu-Ali Sina UniversityHamedanIran
  2. 2.Department of Energy and Environmental Biotechnology, Faculty of Industrial and Environmental BiotechnologyNational Institute of Genetic Engineering and BiotechnologyTehranIran

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