Plant Pathol J > Volume 25(2); 2009 > Article
The Plant Pathology Journal 2009;25(2):113-120.
DOI:    Published online June 30, 2009.
Histological and Cytological Changes Associated with Susceptible and Resistant Responses of Chili Pepper Root and Stem to Phytophthora capsici Infection
Sang Gyu Kim, Young Ho Kim
Microscopic study of chili pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) infected with Phytophthora capsici, causing Phytophthora blight of chili pepper, was conducted to compare histological and cytological characteristics in the root and stem of susceptible (C. annuum cv. Bugang) and resistant (C. annuum cv. CM334) pepper cultivars. The susceptible pepper roots and stems were extensively penetrated and invaded by the pathogen initially into epidermal cells and later cortical and vascular cells. Host cell walls adjacent to and invaded by the infecting hyphae were partially dissolved and structurally loosened with fine fibrillar materials probably by cell wall-degrading enzymes of the pathogen. In the resistant pepper, the pathogen remained on root epidermal surface at one day after inoculation, embedded and captured in root exudation materials composed of proteins and polysaccharides. Also the pathogen appeared to be blocked in its progression at the early infection stages by thickened middle lamellae. At 3 days after inoculation, the oomycete hyphae were still confined to epidermal cells of the root and at most outer peripheral cortical cells of the stem, resulting from their invasion blocked by wound periderms formed underneath the infection sites and/or cell wall appositions bounding the hyphal protrusions. All of these aspects suggest that limitation of disease development in the resistant pepper may be due to the inhibition of the pathogen penetration, infection, invasion, and colonization by the defense structures such as root exudation materials, thickened middle lamellae, wound peridems and cell wall appositions.
Key Words: Capsicum annuum L., defense structures, Phytophthora capsici, resistant, root exudation materials

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