Ultrastructure of the alveolar network and its relation to coating on vessel walls in elms infected by Ophiostoma novo-ulmi and in other plants affected with similar wilt diseases

G. B. Ouellette, D. Rioux, M. Simard, H. Chamberland, M. Cherif, R. P. Baayen

Abstract


In elms infected with Dutch elm disease, alveolar networks, demarcated by filamentous-like bands and confluent with similar matter (the coating) accumulating on vessel walls, occurred regularly in vessel elements. Similar material lined vessel walls in inoculated, sterilized, thin elm wood sections fixed by high pressure freezing. The coating was observed to connect with fungal cells and occasionally contained small opaque particles, the size of ribosomes, membranous and vesicular structures, and, following incubation of wood chips taken from diseased samples incubated on an agar medium, it still displayed similar matter. Coating and alveolar bands increased in thickness by confluence of other bands or membranous structures. Similar matter and structures also occurred in other plants affected by similar fungal wilt diseases. In all systems, the compact coating did not label for chitin, cellulose and pectin. In staghorn sumac, the probe for DNA attached to the coating. Altogether, in the light of these data, it appears that the coating and alveolar networks are not inert components, a fact which indicates their primordial probable pathogen origin. It is proposed that these elements might be important not only in the initial infection stages but also in older or recurrent infections at a time when host resistance mechanisms are ineffective.

Keywords


Fusarium oxysporum; overwintered fungal cells; wilt diseases

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