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Colonization of Fusarium Wilt‐Resistant and Susceptible Watermelon Roots by a Green‐Fluorescent‐Protein‐tagged Isolate of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. niveum

Lü, Guiyun, Guo, Shaogui, Zhang, Haiying, Geng, Lihua, Martyn, Raymond D., Xu, Yong
Phytopathologische Zeitschrift 2014 v.162 no.4 pp. 228-237
Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium wilt, confocal laser scanning microscopy, cultivars, fungi, green fluorescent protein, hyphae, pathogens, root hairs, seedlings, watermelons, wilting
Interactions between watermelon and a green fluorescent protein (GFP)‐tagged isolate of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. niveum race 1 (Fon‐1) were studied to determine the differences in infection and colonization of watermelon roots in cultivars resistant to and susceptible to Fusarium wilt. The roots of watermelon seedlings were inoculated with a conidial suspension of the GFP‐tagged isolate, and confocal laser scanning microscopy was used to visualize colonization, infection and disease development. The initial infection stages were similar in both the resistant and susceptible cultivars, but the resistant cultivar responded differentially after the pathogen had penetrated the root. The pathogen penetrated and colonized resistant watermelon roots, but further fungal advance appeared to be halted, and the fungus did not enter the taproot, suggesting that resistance is initiated postpenetration. However, the tertiary and secondary lateral roots of resistant watermelon also were colonized, although not as extensively as susceptible roots, and the hyphae had penetrated into the central cylinder of lateral roots forming a dense hyphal mat, which was followed by a subsequent collapse of the lateral roots. The initial infection zone for both the wilt‐susceptible and wilt‐resistant watermelon roots appeared to be the epidermal cells within the root hair zone, which the fungus penetrated directly after forming appressoria. Areas where secondary roots emerged and wounded root tissue also were penetrated preferentially.