The Plant Pathology Journal 2003;19(2):85-91.
Published online April 30, 2003.
Ultratructures of the Leaves of Cucumber Plants Treated with DL-3-Aminobutyric Acid at the Vascular Bundle and the Penetration Sites after Inoculation with Colletotrichum orbiculare
Y. C Jeun, E. W. Park
Pre-treatment with DL-3-aminobutyric acid (BABA) in the cucumber plants caused the decrease of disease severity after inoculation with anthracnose pathogen Colletotrichum orbiculare. In this study, ultrastructures of the vascular bundle and the infection structures in the leaves of BABA-treated as well as untreated cucumber plants were observed after inoculation with the anthracnose pathogen by electron microscopy. The ultrastructures of vascular bundle in the leaves of BABA-treated plants were similar to those of the untreated plants except plasmodesmata. In the BABA-treated plants, the plasmodesmata were more numerous than in the untreated plants, suggesting that the BABA treatment may cause the active transfer of metabolites through the vascular bundle. In the leaves of untreated plants, the fungal hyphae were spread widely in the plant tissues at 5 days after pathogen inoculation. Most cellular organelles in the hyphae were intact, indicating a compatible interaction between the plant and the parasite. In contrast, in the leaves of BABA pre-treated plants the growth of most hyphae was restricted to the epidermal cell layer at 5 days after inoculation. Most hyphal cytoplasm and nucleoplasm was electron dense or the intracellular organelles were degenerated. The cell walls of some plant cells became thick at the site adjacent to the intercellular hyphae, indicating a mechanical defense reaction of the plant cells against the fungal attack. Furthermore, hypersensitive reaction (HR) of the epidermal cells was often observed, in which the intracellular hyphae were degenerated. Based on these results it is suggested that BABA causes the enhancement of defense mechanisms in the cucumber plants such as cell wall apposition or HR against the invasion of C. orbiculare.
Key Words: DL-3-aminobutyric acid (BABA), Colletotrichum orbiculare, cucumber, systemic acquired resistance, SAR, ultrastructure

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