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Host-parasite relationships in sunflower wilt incited by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum as determined by the twin technique

Host-parasite relationships in sunflower wilt incited by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum as determined by the twin technique

Phytopathology 54(1): 33-35

Twin sunflower stems borne on a single root system and twin root systems supporting a single stem were used to study wilt caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Inoculations were made by inserting mycelium-bearing toothpicks into selected parts of the test plants. Successful inoculation of one of the twin stems resulted in the formation of a distinct brown lesion followed invariably by wilting of the leaves in an upward leaf-by-leaf sequence. No wilting occurred below the lesion or in the other stem. Likewise, when one of the twin root members was inoculated, no symptoms appeared on the single stem until the lesion reached the junction of the 2 root systems. Microscopic examination of sections of inoculated stems revealed that the fungus had ramified and destroyed the cambium of the fibrovascular bundles and had entered the vessels and interfascicular region. Inoculated stems with wilted leaves were cut off through and at intervals above the lesion and placed in tap water to check on recovery. Only those cuttings that were free of necrotic tissue recovered rapidly and completely. The results indicate that symDtoms of wilting regularly associated with S. sclerotiorum infection are due mainly to plugging of vascular tissue and not to the production of a transportable toxin.

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Accession: 024800354

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