Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy as a new method for evaluating host resistance in the Dutch elm disease complex

J. A. Martín, A. Solla, S. Woodward, L. Gil*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Resistance of elms (Ulmus spp.) to the pathogenic fungus Ophiostoma novo-ulmi Brasier depends on chemical and anatomical factors that confine the spread of the pathogen in the vascular system of the host. This study focused on detecting chemical differences in 4-year-old Ulmus minor Mill, seedlings before and after inoculation with a virulent O. novo-ulmi isolate. According to symptom development over 60 days, the trees were divided into resistant (0-33% wilting) and susceptible (67-100% wilting) groups. Histochemical tests and Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy analysis were performed on transverse sections of 2-year-old twigs, 2 days before and 40 days after inoculation. Although histochemical tests did not clearly discriminate susceptible from resistant elms, chemical differences between resistant, susceptible and control trees were detected by FT-IR. The average spectrum for resistant tree samples had higher absorbance peaks than the spectra from the susceptible and control samples, indicating increased formation of lignin and suberin. The roles of lignin and suberin in the resistance of the elms against O. novo-ulmi and the usefulness and sensitivity of the FT-IR technique for analyzing metabolic changes caused by pathogens in plants are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1331-1338
Number of pages8
JournalTree Physiology
Volume25
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

Keywords

  • FT-IR
  • Histochemistry
  • Ophiostoma novo-ulmi
  • Plant defense
  • Ulmus minor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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