Submitted to: American Society of Plant Physiologists Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/27/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Elicitors are molecules that induce typical defense mechanisms such as the deposition of callose, the production of hydrolytic enzymes, the synthesis of cell wall-associated phenylpropanoid compounds, and phytoalexin synthesis in plants. A 24 kDa protein produced by the fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. erythroxyli, a wilt pathogen on the narcotic plant, Erythroxylum coca, has been purified and the corresponding gene was cloned. Work is currently being done on over-expressing the gene and disrupting the gene in Fusarium oxysporum in order to evaluate pathogenicity on Erythroxylum coca. The 24 kDa protein causes necrosis and/or ethylene production in most dicots, and does not appear to affect monocots. It has been characterized in tobacco as an HR-like response. Similar systems have been shown to induce resistance in plants. We are currently evaluating the 24 kDa protein with regard to its ability to induce resistance both locally and systemically. The 24 kDa protein appears to be having long term effects on tomato plants. The plant responses to the protein are currently being characterized. Disease development of several Colletotricum species on cucumber, tomato, alfalfa, cotton, potato, and watermelon; Alternaria on tomato; and Rhizoctonia and Pythium on cucumber are being evaluated on plants treated with the elicitor. The resulting data will be presented and discussed.