, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 387–401 | Cite as

Chemical-induced resistance against powdery mildew in barley: the effects of chitosan and benzothiadiazole

  • Franco FaoroEmail author
  • Dario Maffi
  • Dario Cantu
  • Marcello Iriti


Chitosan (CHT), a deacetylated chitin derivative, and benzo-(1,2,3)-thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester (BTH), a non toxic synthetic functional analogue of salicylic acid, were applied as foliar spray to barley plants (Hordeum vulgare L.), to compare their effectiveness in inducing resistance against Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei and to investigate the underlying defence response. After an induction phase of 3 days (IP, time elapsed between treatment and fungal inoculation) both compounds reduced significantly the infection on the primary leaf, namely of 55.5% for CHT and of 68.9% for BTH, showing the induction of a good level of local resistance (LAR). A 5-day IP further reduced the infected areas in BTH treated plants (−77.2%) but not in CHT treated ones (−47.1%). Furthermore, both CHT and BTH also induced SAR, being the infection in the second non treated leaves reduced of 57% and 76.2%, respectively, as evaluated at 10-day IP. Both BTH and CHT induced oxidative burst and phenolic compound deposition in treated leaves, creating an hostile environment that slowed down the fungal spreading by impairing haustorium development. However, the greater efficacy of BTH was possibly due to: i) a greater reinforcement of papilla; ii) a higher level and the more homogeneous diffusion of H2O2 in the treated leaf tissues and iii) an induced hypersensitive-like response in many penetrated cells.


Benzothiadiazole Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei Chitosan Powdery mildew Chemical induced resistance Defence mechanisms Hordeum vulgaris 



We thank Prof. S. Lurie for critical reading of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franco Faoro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dario Maffi
    • 2
  • Dario Cantu
    • 1
  • Marcello Iriti
    • 2
  1. 1.CNR, Istituto di Virologia VegetaleUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Istituto di Patologia VegetaleUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly

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