Disguising the Leaf Surface

  • P. Parvatha Reddy


The leaf surface provides the first barrier that fungi must overcome in order to gain access to the leaf, but it also provides chemical and physical cues that are necessary for the development of infection structures for many fungal pathogens. Film-forming polymers can coat the leaf surface, acting not just as an extra barrier to infection but also disguising the cues necessary for germling development. Kaolin particle films can envelop the leaf in a hydrophobic particle film barrier that prevents spores or water from directly contacting the leaf surface and, as a result, can suppress infection. Adhesion of fungal spores to the leaf surface, which is important to keep spores on the leaf surface and for appropriate development of the fungus on the leaf surface, can be inhibited, leading to reduced infection and lesion development. Polymer and particle films have been shown to provide disease control in the field, whilst research on agents that inhibit spore adhesion on leaf surfaces is still in its infancy. There is an urgent need for research on the practicality of using these novel methods under field conditions and on ways of integrating them into current crop protection programmes.


Powdery Mildew Leaf Surface Downy Mildew Fire Blight Apple Scab 


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Parvatha Reddy
    • 1
  1. 1.Indian Institute of Horticultural ResearchBangaloreIndia

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