The effect of Albugo Candida (white blister rust) on the photosynthetic and carbohydrate metabolism of leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana


Dr J.D. Scholes, Departments of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S102UQ, UK.


Albugo candida (pers.) O. Kuntze (white blister rust) is a biotrophic fungus which infects cruciferous plants including Arabidopsis thaliana (L) Heynh. We report the effect of this pathogen on the photosynthetic and carbohydrate metabolism of A. thaliana. As infection progressed A. Candida caused a reduction in the rate of photosynthesis when measured at either ambient or saturating concentrations of CO2. These data suggested that both chlorophyll and Rubisco were lost from regions of infected leaves, and measurements of chlorophyll, Rubisco content and activity supported these observations. The reduction in the rate of photosynthesis was not caused by closure of stomata as transpiration was unaffected by the disease. Infected leaves accumulated both soluble carbohydrates and starch. The activities of sucrose-phosphate synthase, sucrose synthase and ADP glucose pyrophosphorylase did not change in response to infection. However, the activities of both the wall-bound and soluble acid invertases were higher in infected leaves than in controls; a new soluble invertase isoform with a pl of 5-1 appeared in infected leaves. The possible origin of the increase in wall-bound and soluble invertase activities and its effect on the carbohydrate and photosynthetic metabolism of the leaf are discussed.