• amoeboid form;
  • sand solution plant culture;
  • soilborne disease;
  • transmission electron microscopy;
  • zoosporic plant pathogen

The differences in physiological response of Brassica oleracea to infection and growth of Plasmodiophora brassicae in infected tissue were studied in clubroot resistant and susceptible hosts, grown in sand solution culture artificially inoculated with spores of P. brassicae (108 spores mL−1). Primary (root hair) and secondary (cortical) stages of P. brassicae occurred in both resistant and susceptible hosts. Symptoms of cortical invasion by P. brassicae in resistant and susceptible hosts included cell wall breaks, presence of vesicles or inclusion bodies within the cell walls, cell wall thickening in association with plasmodesmata and enlarged and/or disorganized host nuclei. The main difference between the resistant and susceptible host reaction was the absence of degradation of the secondary thickening and cell walls of the xylem in the resistant host. This study supports the existence of an amoeboid form of the pathogen in addition to the recognized two-phase life history of P. brassicae. Furthermore, it suggests that resistance in B. oleracea does not prevent the development of this amoeboid form. A reduced number of cell wall breakages suggests movement of the amoeboid form, may have been restricted but not prevented in the resistant host.