TITLE

The illustrated life cycle of Microbotryum on the host plant Silene latifolia

AUTHOR(S)
Schäfer, Angela Maria; Kemler, Martin; Bauer, Robert; Begerow, Dominik
PUB. DATE
October 2010
SOURCE
Botany;Oct2010, Vol. 88 Issue 10, p875
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The plant-parasitic genus Microbotryum (Pucciniomycotina) has been used as a model for various biological studies, but fundamental aspects of its life history have not been documented in detail. The smut fungus is characterized by a dimorphic life cycle with a haploid saprophytic yeast-like stage and a dikaryotic plant-parasitic stage, which bears the teliospores as dispersal agents. In this study, seedlings and flowers of Silene latifolia Poir. (Caryophyllaceae) were inoculated with teliospores or sporidial cells of Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae (DC. ex Liro) G. Deml & Oberw. and the germination of teliospores, the infection process, and the proliferation in the host tissue were documented in vivo using light and electron microscopy. Although germination of the teliospore is crucial for the establishment of Microbotryum, basidium development is variable under natural conditions. In flowers, where the amount of nutrients is thought to be high, the fungus propagates as sporidia, and mating of compatible cells takes place only when flowers are withering and nutrients are decreasing. On cotyledons (i.e., nutrient-depleted conditions), conjugation occurs shortly after teliospore germination, often via intrapromycelial mating. After formation of an infectious hypha with an appressorium, the invasion of the host occurs by direct penetration of the epidermis. While the growth in the plant is typically intercellular, long distance proliferation seems mediated through xylem tracheary elements. At the beginning of the vegetation period, fungal cells were found between meristematic shoot host cells, indicating a dormant phase inside the plant. By using different microscopy techniques, many life stages of Microbotryum are illustrated for the first time, thereby allowing new interpretations of laboratory data.
ACCESSION #
54310686

 

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