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Keywords:

  • Blumeria graminis ;
  • hypersensitive response (HR);
  • papillae;
  • phenolics;
  • triticale

Triticale is the intergeneric hybrid between wheat and rye. With the expansion of the triticale growing area, powdery mildew has emerged and become a significant disease on this new host. Recent research demonstrated that this ‘new’ powdery mildew on triticale has emerged through a host range expansion of powdery mildew of wheat. Moreover, isolates sampled from triticale still infect their previous host, wheat, but isolates sampled from wheat hardly infect triticale. Race-specific and adult-plant resistance have been identified in triticale cultivars. The main objective of this study was to characterize the cellular basis of powdery mildew resistance in triticale. Commonalities with resistance responses in other cereals such as wheat, barley and oat are discussed. A detailed comparative histological study of various resistance responses during cross-inoculation of either virulent or avirulent wheat and triticale isolates on both hosts was carried out. The present data provide evidence that for incompatible interactions, the formation of non-penetrated papillae is the predominant resistance response, while the hypersensitive response (HR) acts as a second line of defence, to cut the fungus off from nutrients, if penetration resistance fails. It is not clear yet what causes the slower growth and reduced colony size of triticale isolates when inoculated on wheat. Possibly, post-penetration resistance mechanisms, other than HR, are switched on during these (semi-) compatible interactions. Molecular studies on gene expression and gene function of defence-related genes might reveal further insights into the genetic basis of these resistance responses.