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Early Events in the Fusarium verticillioides-Maize Interaction Characterized by Using a Green Fluorescent Protein-Expressing Transgenic Isolate

By Liat Oren, Smadar Ezrati, David Cohen and Amir Sharon


The infection of maize by Fusarium verticillioides can result in highly variable disease symptoms ranging from asymptomatic plants to severe rotting and wilting. We produced F. verticillioides green fluorescent protein-expressing transgenic isolates and used them to characterize early events in the F. verticillioides-maize interaction that may affect later symptom appearance. Plants grown in F. verticillioides-infested soil were smaller and chlorotic. The fungus colonized all of the underground parts of a plant but was found primarily in lateral roots and mesocotyl tissue. In some mesocotyl cells, conidia were produced within 14 to 21 days after infection. Intercellular mycelium was detected, but additional cells were not infected until 21 days after planting. At 25 to 30 days after planting, the mesocotyl and main roots were heavily infected, and rotting developed in these tissues. Other tissues, including the adventitious roots and the stem, appeared to be healthy and contained only a small number of hyphae. These results imply that asymptomatic systemic infection is characterized by a mode of fungal development that includes infection of certain tissues, intercellular growth of a limited number of fungal hyphae, and reproduction of the fungus in a few cells without invasion of other cells. Development of visibly rotted tissue is associated with massive production of fungal mycelium and much less organized growth

Topics: Mycology
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1128/AEM.69.3.1695-1701.2003
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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