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The Colonization Process of Sunflower by a Green Fluorescent Protein-Tagged Isolate of Verticillium dahliae and its Seed Transmission

Zhang, Y., Zhang, J., Gao, J., Zhang, G., Yu, Y., Zhou, H., Chen, W., Zhao, J.
Plant disease 2018 v.102 no.9 pp. 1772-1778
Helianthus annuus, Verticillium dahliae, Verticillium wilt, conidia, cotyledons, fluorescence, fungi, green fluorescent protein, mycelium, petioles, plant veins, pollen, root hairs, testa, tissues
Sunflower Verticillium wilt is a widespread and destructive disease caused by the soilborne pathogen Verticillium dahliae. To better understand the process of infection and seed transmission of the fungus, sunflower roots were inoculated with a V. dahliae strain (VdBM9-6) labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP) and monitored microscopically. After 24 to 96 h postinoculation (hpi), conidia germinated and developed into mycelium on root hairs, elongation zones, and caps of lateral roots. Mycelium colonized vascular bundles of lateral roots and taproots at 7 days postinoculation (dpi). At 10 weeks postinoculation (wpi), the epidermal cells, cortical tissues, and vascular elements of stem, petiole, and leaf veins were colonized by mycelium. By 12 wpi, strong GFP signals were detected not only on different tissues of inflorescence but also on testa of seed and a small fraction of pollen grains. A GFP signal was not observed on cotyledon tissues in the seed. Additionally, the colonization of V. dahliae on testa was also confirmed with MNP-10 selection medium, indicating that the testa of seed is the main carrier for the long distance transmission of sunflower yellow wilt.