Previous studies have shown the role of melanized appressoria in the pathogenicity of various fungi. Diplocarpon rosae is a worldwide outdoor fungal pathogen of rose plants causing black spot disease of rose leaves. To fully understand how this fungus colonizes its host, which is critical for the development of an efficient and sustainable disease management program, we studied the fungal (especially the appressoria) structures of D. rosae in detail at an early stage of infection. Using both microscopic and biochemical analyses, we observed strong melanized appressoria formation localized at the point of D. rosae penetration, which forms the pathogen-plant interface. Treatment of infected plants with melanin biosynthesis inhibitors (MBIs) prevented melanization of D. rosae appressoria and positively correlated with significant reductions in black spot disease symptoms, suggesting that melanization of appressoria might be a critical factor for the pathogenicity of D. rosae. Our findings were confirmed and validated by the lack of melanized appressorial ring formation on an artificial surface and on a D. rosae-non host plant system, Arabidopsis thaliana. Our findings suggest that localized melanization of appressoria is a crucial factor for the pathogenicity of D. rosae and treatment of the fungus with MBIs seems to be a promising disease management alternative for black spot disease of roses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Diplocarpon rosae
- Melanin rings