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Infection and Colonization of Pathogenic Fungus Fusarium proliferatum in Rice Spikelet Rot Disease

Lei, Sun, Wang, Ling, Liu, Lianmeng, Hou, Yuxuan, Xu, Yihua, Liang, Mengqi, Gao, Jian, Li, Qiqin, Huang, Shiwen
Rice science 2019 v.26 no.1 pp. 60-68
Fusarium proliferatum, anthers, color, dehiscence, emerging diseases, endosperm, flowers, green fluorescent protein, maturity stage, pathogens, pistil, plant ovary, pollen, rice, seed set, spikelets, virulent strains
Rice spikelet rot disease (RSRD), caused by Fusarium proliferatum, is an emerging disease. So far, the effects of diseased rice floral organs as well as the primary infection sites and stages of this pathogen are not determined. We investigated changes in the floral organs, along with the infection processes of the pathogen in plants inoculated with F. proliferatum and labelled with a green fluorescent protein during different growth stages of rice. The results showed that RSRD is not a systemic infectious disease, which has negative effects on the fertility of the infected rice. F. proliferatum caused brown colored anthers, crinkled pistils and ovaries, pollen grain deformities and anther indehiscence. The number of pollen grains on the stigmas decreased significantly in the infected spikelets, and the anther dehiscence and seed-setting rate successively declined by 69% and 73%, respectively, as a result of the infection. The initial infection stage occurred at the pollen cell maturity stage, and the primary invasion sites were determined to be the anthers of rice. It was noted that the pathogen mainly damaged the pollen cells, and with the exception of the filaments, proceeded to colonize the pistils and endosperm.