, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 695–703 | Cite as

Callus cultures and bark from Norway spruce clones show similar cellular features and relative resistance to fungal pathogens

  • Nina Elisabeth Nagy
  • Vincent R Franceschi
  • Harald Kvaalen
  • Halvor SolheimEmail author
Original Article


In field experiments, clones of Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] showed different degrees of resistance against pathogenic fungi inoculated into the bark that correlate with differences in polyphenolic parenchyma (PP) cells of the bark. Cells of spruce callus cultures, particularly towards the callus surface, resemble PP cells and this study looks at changes in callus cells during infection and the relative resistance of cultures from clones of low (weak) or high (strong) resistance to fungal infection. Callus cultures, initiated from trees with different resistance, were co-inoculated with Ceratocystis polonica (Siem.) C. Moreau and Heterobasidion annosum (Fr.) Bref. Callus cells from strong clones resemble PP cells of bark tissue from strong clones, having more polyphenolic bodies, while callus cells from weak clones are more similar to PP cells from those clones, which have less extensive phenolic bodies. Callus cultures from trees with weak resistance were more quickly overgrown by both species of pathogenic fungi than cultures from trees with strong resistance. Callus cells of infected cultures showed changes similar to activated PP cells of bark, including enhanced accumulation of polyphenolics. Phenolic bodies were more numerous and more extensive (larger and denser) in callus cells of strong versus weak clones under all conditions. Thus, callus cells may perform similar functions in defense as PP cells in the bark. Callus from trees of varying resistance seem to reflect the relative resistance of the trees from which they are derived, and this study indicates that some mechanisms of resistance can be studied using callus from trees of different resistance.


Callus cultures Ceratocystis polonica Heterobasidion annosum Polyphenolics Picea abies Resistance 



2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid;





The Research Council of Norway and the Norwegian Forest Research Institute financed this study. Olaug Olsen and Anne E. Nilsen provided excellent technical assistance with the callus cultures. Sample processing and microscopy was performed at the Electron Microscopy Laboratory, The Agricultural University of Norway under the assistance of Trygve Krekling. We thank the above-mentioned persons and institutions


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nina Elisabeth Nagy
    • 1
  • Vincent R Franceschi
    • 2
  • Harald Kvaalen
    • 1
  • Halvor Solheim
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Norwegian Forest Research InstituteÅsNorway
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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