European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 136, Issue 2, pp 261–271

Sugar beet extract induces defence against Phytophthora infestans in potato plants

  • Laith Ibrahim Moushib
  • Johanna Witzell
  • Marit Lenman
  • Erland Liljeroth
  • Erik Andreasson


The aim of this study was to find a natural and cheap agent that could induce defence responses in potato plants to combat Phytophthora infestans, which causes late blight disease that is one of the most devastating plant pathogens in agriculture. We tested whether a sugar beet extract (SBE), derived through a simple extraction procedure from a large-scale plant waste product, induced resistance under green-house conditions. In three potato genotypes differing in their level of resistance to P. infestans (two susceptible genotypes: Desiree and Bintje and one partially resistant: Ovatio), treatment with SBE resulted in significant reduction of the size of the infection lesions in a pattern similar to that seen with application of a known defence-inducing compound, β-aminobutyric acid (BABA). Lower sporangial production was also observed on SBE-treated leaves, but the reduction in sporangial production was more pronounced after BABA treatment. SBE had no apparent toxic effect on the hyphal growth of the pathogen or on the germination of sporangia. Instead, SBE triggered pathogenesis-related protein (PR-1 and PR-2) induction which suggests that the protection conferred by SBE could be via induced resistance. An array of phenolic metabolites was found in the SBE that may contribute to the defence response.


BABA Defence-inducing agent Induced resistance Plant extract Potato late blight PR-1 



β-aminobutyric acid


Days post inoculation


Integrated pest management


Pathogen-associated molecular patterns

PR-1 protein

Pathogenesis-related protein 1


Sugar beet extract


Sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis


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Copyright information

© KNPV 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laith Ibrahim Moushib
    • 1
  • Johanna Witzell
    • 2
  • Marit Lenman
    • 3
  • Erland Liljeroth
    • 3
  • Erik Andreasson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologyLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Department of Southern Swedish Forest Research CentreSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesAlnarpSweden
  3. 3.Department of Plant Protection BiologySwedish University of Agricultural SciencesAlnarpSweden

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