• Key words: Vicia faba;
  • rust (Uromyces vicae-fabae);
  • uninfected leaves;
  • photosynthesis;
  • resistance


Photosynthesis and resistance to rust infection were studied in upper, uninfected leaves of broad bean, Vicia faba L., where the lower two leaves were infected with rust, Uromyces viciae-fabae (Pers.) Shroet. Following inoculation of the lower leaves, rates of net photosynthesis were significantly increased in the upper, uninfected, fully-developed leaves and the young developing leaves, compared to controls. In contrast, photosynthesis was substantially reduced in the lower, rusted leaves. When 14CO2 was fed to the upper, uninfected leaves of rusted plants, there was a considerable increase in labelled assimilate in those leaves, compared to controls. In addition, there was substantial movement of labelled assimilate into lower, rusted leaves, into young, developing leaves and into roots. On the other hand, there was a substantial reduction in labelled assimilates moving into shoot apices.

Upper, uninfected leaves of rusted beans exhibited Increased resistance to rust infection. Thus, the percentage leaf area covered with rust and the number of pustules per cm2 were reduced in these leaves compared to controls. This resistance to rust infection was greatest when the upper leaves were challenged 1 d after inoculation of the lower leaves with rust and decreased with increasing time after inoculation of the lower leaves. Young, developing leaves on rusted beans also exhibited increased resistance to rust infection. When photosynthesis in the upper leaves was reduced to near control values or well below control values by shading, resistance to rust infection in those leaves was also reduced, although not in proportion to the reduction in photosynthesis. It is suggested that the increased photosynthesis in upper, uninfected bean leaves probably facilitates maximum expression of resistance to infection in those leaves.