Canadian Forest Service Publications

Ultrastructure of the infection process of potato tuber by Helminthosporium solani, causal agent of potato silver scurf. 2004. Martinez, C.; Rioux, D.; Tweddell, R.J. Mycol. Res. 108(7): 828-836.

Year: 2004

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39598

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1017/S0953756204000589

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Silver scurf is an important postharvest disease affecting potato tubers worldwide, caused by Helminthosporium solani. In the present study, key steps of infection of potato tubers (cv. ‘Dark Red Norland’) by H. solani were described using transmission (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The fungus entered potato tubers mainly via hyphae, although germ tubes were also able to directly penetrate the tubers. An extracellular sheath was observed around hyphae growing over the surface of tubers and the host cell wall appeared lyzed at the point of penetration. Observations suggested that both mechanical and enzymatic processes are involved in periderm penetration. Hyphae of H. solani, 9 h after tuber inoculation, were present intracellularly mostly in the periderm and in some cortical cells. Two days after inoculation, host cells were invaded and both infected and neighbouring host cells showed signs of necrosis (disrupted cytoplasm, absence of typical organelles or endomembrane systems, collapsed peridermal cells) that were not observed in healthy control tubers. Four days after inoculation, completing the infection cycle, conidiophores emerged from peridermal cells directly by erupting through the host cell walls.