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BABA effects on the behaviour of potato cultivars infected by Phytophthora infestans and Fusarium solani

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Since most plants possess resistance mechanisms which can be induced upon pre-treatment with a variety of chemical compounds, the use of β-aminobutyric acid (BABA) as a defence inducer without reported toxic effect on the environment was studied. The aim of this work was to analyse the effectiveness of BABA to induce resistance against Phytophthora infestans and Fusarium solani in potato cultivars differing in their level of resistance to late blight. The behaviour of some components of biochemical mechanisms by which BABA increases resistance against P. infestans, as well as the effect of BABA on the activity of a potential pathogenic factor of F. solani, were studied. Plants with four applications of BABA throughout the crop cycle produced tubers more resistant to P. infestans and F. solani than non-treated plants. In addition, tuber slices from treated plants, inoculated with P. infestans, showed an increase in phenol and phytoalexin content. The aspartyl protease StAP1 accumulation was also higher in tubers obtained from treated plants and inoculated with P. infestans. This result was observed only in the more resistant potato cv. Pampeana, early after infection. In the potato–F. solani interaction, infected tubers coming from BABA-treated plants showed minor fungal proteolytic activity than infected, non-treated ones. For potato cvs Pampeana and Bintje, the BABA treatment improved the yield of harvested tubers. The number of tubers per plant and total weight of harvested tubers was greater for those obtained from treated plants with two early or four applications of BABA. The results show that the BABA treatment increases the resistance of potatoes but the degree of increase depends on the original level of resistance present in each cultivar.

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This work was supported by grants of ANPCyT, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas (CONICET), Comisión de Investigaciones Científicas de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (CIC) and Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata. Olivieri FP, Guevara MG and Andreu AB are established researchers from CONICET. Daleo GR is an established researcher of CIC. Huarte MA is an established researcher of INTA. Lobato MC is a fellow of CONICET.

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Correspondence to F. P. Olivieri.

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Olivieri, F.P., Lobato, M.C., González Altamiranda, E. et al. BABA effects on the behaviour of potato cultivars infected by Phytophthora infestans and Fusarium solani . Eur J Plant Pathol 123, 47–56 (2009).

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