pp 1–16 | Cite as

Different clonal responses to cypress canker disease based on transcription of suberin-related genes and bark carbohydrates’ content

  • R. Danti
  • M. G. Rotordam
  • G. Emiliani
  • A. Giovannelli
  • A. Papini
  • C. Tani
  • S. Barberini
  • G. Della Rocca
Original Article


Key message

Suberin metabolism plays a crucial role in the compartmentalization of the necrotic bark tissues in cypress clones resistant to bark canker caused by Seiridium cardinale.


In cypress, the main mechanism of resistance to the bark canker caused by the fungal pathogen Seiridium cardinale involves the post-infectional development of a well-structured necrophylactic periderm (NP). The impermeability and effectiveness of NP against pathogens has been associated with cell wall suberization. In canker-resistant and susceptible C. sempervirens clones, the transcript accumulation of four genes involved in suberin biosynthesis (Acyl-CoA thioesterase, stearoyl-ACP-desaturase, Caffeoyl-CoA-3-O-methyltransferase 1 and Peroxidase 21) was studied in inoculated and wounded bark tissues through qPCR assay during a 3 month trial. Quantification of non-structural carbohydrates in the same targeted tissues was also performed by HPLC. In the canker-resistant clone, transcript accumulation of all four examined genes significantly increased after both inoculation or wounding more than in the susceptible clone, and the maximum difference between the two clones was observed after 30 days. The type of clone significantly affected the transcript accumulation of all the four examined genes (main effects ANOVA). The total soluble sugars content detected in the bark tissues was constitutively similar in both clones, and only slight differences in the carbon balance were detected between the two clones 90 days after inoculation or wounding. Histological observations of bark sections stained with Sudan red 90 days after inoculation, showed that in the canker-resistant clone a greater suberin deposition occurred in the NP, which resulted thicker and better structured when compared to the susceptible clone.


Seiridium cardinale Carbon balance Necrophylactic periderm Disease resistance Cupressus sempervirens Sudan Red Fluorol Yellow 



The study was partly funded by Fondazione Giorgio Tesi, through an annual grant for the training of young researchers and support to genetic improvement of cypress at IPSP-CNR. The Authors would like to extend their sincere thanks to Mrs Maria Laura Traversi for the analyses of soluble sugars and to Dr. Matthew Haworth and Dr. Federico Sebastiani for their critical reading of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

468_2018_1745_MOESM1_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 20 KB)


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection, IPSP-CNRSesto FiorentinoItaly
  2. 2.Nanion Technologies GmbHMunichGermany
  3. 3.Trees and Timber Institute, IVALSA-CNRSesto FiorentinoItaly
  4. 4.Department of BiologyUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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