Hydrogen Peroxide Production in Wheat Leaves Infected with the Fungus Septoria nodorum Berk. Strains with Different Virulence

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Abstract

The effect of two strains of the phytopathogenic fungus Septoria nodorum Berk. of different virulence on the intensity of local generation of hydrogen peroxide in common wheat leaves and the role of oxidoreductases in this process was studied. Differences in the pattern of hydrogen peroxide production in wheat plants infected with high- and low-virulence pathogen strains have been found. The low-virulent S. nodorum strain caused a long-term hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) generation in the infection zone, whereas the inoculation of leaves with the highly virulent strain resulted in a transient short-term increase in the H2O2 concentration at the initial moment of contact between the plant and the fungus. It was shown that the low level of H2O2 production by plant cells at the initial stages of pathogenesis facilitates S. nodorum growth and development. The decrease in the H2O2 concentration induced by the highly virulent S. nodorum strain is determined by inhibition of the oxalate oxidase activity in plant tissues and by the ability of the fungus to actively synthesize an extracellular catalase. The pattern of hydrogen peroxide generation at the initial stages of septoriosis may serve as an index of virulence of S. nodorum population.

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