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J Chem Ecol. 2002 Nov;28(11):2121-40.

Arabidopsis ecotype variability in camalexin production and reaction to infection by Alternaria brassicicola.

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Department of Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1312, USA.


Camalexin production was compared in 24 ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana. Detached Arabidopsis leaves were inoculated with Cochliobolus carbonum, an incompatible pathogen of Arabidopsis, to test the ability of each ecotype to produce camalexin. Whole plants were inoculated with Alternaria brassicicola, a crucifer pathogen, to determine if there was a correlation between the ability of an ecotype to produce camalexin and its resistance to A. brassicicola. All ecotypes were capable of producing camalexin, but the amounts produced relative to the Columbia ecotype (used as a standard) varied within and among ecotypes, and among experiments. Different degrees of resistance to A. brassicicola were observed among ecotypes, both macroscopically and microscopically. Extraction of A. brassicicola-inoculated leaves revealed that only four ecotypes (two resistant and two susceptible) produced easily detectable amounts of camalexin in response to this pathogen. TLC plate bioassays suggested that A. brassicicola was relatively insensitive to camalexin, thus casting some doubt on the importance of this compound in defense. These studies suggest that the role of camalexin in disease resistance varies among different Arabidopsis populations in nature, and they provide some clues to other possible determinants of resistance to A. brassicicola.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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