S. berthaulltii Hawkes, a wild potato species, possesses two types of glandular trichomes on its leaf surface: types A and B wich confer resistance to insects. Preliminary results indicated that the presence of glandular trichomes also confers resistance to Phytophthora infestans, the causal agent of late blight. In this paper we report the evaluation of trichome characteristics (density and exudate activities) performed on 8 lines of potato, including the control varieties Desiree and Tropicana, 5 hybrid lines derived from intercrosses and backcrosses between S. tuberosum and S. berthaultii and one accession of S. berthaultii. Whole plants of the 8 genotypes were inoculated with a spore suspension of Phytophthora infestans in order to evaluate their resistance to late blight. The resultant disease incidence correlated negatively with type A trichome density and with polyphenol-oxidase (PPO) activity of type A trichome glands. The removal of type B trichomes exudate by leaf dipping in ethanol did not influence the disease development after artificial inoculation of detached leaves. Type B trichome exudate was extracted and the fraction corresponding to Fatty Acids Sucrose Esters (FASE) was recovered after Thin Layer Chromatography and tested on the fungal mycelium in vitro. The FASE exhibited a slight inhibitory effect on mycelium growth. The results of the experiments are discussed, and several hypotheses regarding the possible role of types A and B trichomes are formulated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science