European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 124, Issue 1, pp 93–103 | Cite as

Characterisation of sunflower root colonisation by Phoma macdonaldii

  • Taissir Abou Al Fadil
  • Alain Jauneau
  • Yves Martinez
  • Martina Rickauer
  • Grégory Dechamp-Guillaume


Phoma macdonaldii, the causal agent of black stem disease of sunflower (Helianthus annuus), also attacks roots and collars of the plants, resulting in early death. Totally resistant lines do not exist for infection of the aerial parts, but tolerant lines have been characterised. This paper presents a study on colonisation of a partially resistant and a susceptible sunflower line by P. macdonaldii. The fungus was transformed with a constitutively expressed reporter gene encoding the jellyfish green fluorescent protein via Agrobacterium tumefaciens, and colonisation of sunflower roots by this transformed strain was studied by various microscopy techniques including confocal and scanning electron microscopy. The results show that penetration of the fungus into the root occurred through natural fissures or through the epidermis and was similar in both lines. In contrast, the colonisation rate of the stele was reduced in the partially resistant line, and the morphology of the fungal hyphae was also affected. The effect on hyphal morphology was strongest in the stele, indicating a localised production of defence compounds in this line.


Black stem disease Green fluorescent protein Leptosphaeria lindquistii 



The authors thank Dr. Bernard Dumas (UMR5546 CNRS-UPS) for the gift of plasmid pBin-GFP-hph.


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Copyright information

© KNPV 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taissir Abou Al Fadil
    • 1
  • Alain Jauneau
    • 2
  • Yves Martinez
    • 2
  • Martina Rickauer
    • 3
  • Grégory Dechamp-Guillaume
    • 1
  1. 1.Université de Toulouse; INPT; UNR AGIR; ENSATCastanet-TolosanFrance
  2. 2.IFR 40Castanet-TolosanFrance
  3. 3.Université de Toulouse; INPT; Symbiose et Pathologie des Plantes; ENSATCastanet-TolosanFrance

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