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Temporal physiological response of pine to Fusarium circinatum infection is dependent on host susceptibility level: the role of ABA catabolism

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Joana Amaral
  • Barbara Correia
  • Mónica Escandón
  • Cláudia Jesus
  • João Serôdio
  • Luis Valledor
  • Robert D Hancock
  • Lia-Tânia Dinis
  • Aurelio Gomez-Cadenas
  • Artur Alves
  • Glória Pinto
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/05/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Tree Physiology
Issue number5
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)801-816
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date5/11/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Pine pitch canker (PPC), caused by Fusarium circinatum Nirenberg and O’Donnell, represents an important threat to conifer forests worldwide, being associated with significant economic losses. Although essential to develop disease mitigation strategies, little research focused on host susceptibility/resistance mechanisms has been conducted. We aimed to explore the response of a highly susceptible (Pinus radiata D. Don) and a relatively resistant (Pinus pinea L.) species to F. circinatum infection at different stages of infection. Morpho-physiological, hormonal and oxidative stress-related changes were assessed for each pine species and sampling point. Most of the changes found occurred in symptomatic P. radiata, for which an increased susceptibility to photoinhibition was detected together with decreased superoxide dismutase activity. Abscisic acid catabolism was activated by F. circinatum inoculation in both pine species, leading to the accumulation of the inactive dihydrophaseic acid in P. radiata and of the less-active phaseic acid in P. pinea. Hormone confocal analysis revealed that this strategy may be of particular importance at 6 d.p.i. in P. pinea, which together with photosynthesis maintenance to fuel defense mechanism, could in part explain the species resistance to PPC. These results are of great interest for the development of hormone-based breeding strategies or for the use of hormone application as inducers of resistance to F. circinatum infection.