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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Enhancement of natural disease resistance in potatoes by chemicals.

The mechanism involved in systemic acquired resistance (SAR) can be non-specifically induced in susceptible plants. In response to pathogens, plants' natural defence mechanisms include the production of lignin and phytoalexins and the induction of plant enzymes. The aim of this research was to study the induction of SAR mediated by the chemical activator DL-3-aminobutyric acid (BABA) and the fungicide fosetyl-aluminium in potato cultivars with different levels of resistance against Phytophthora infestans (Mont) de Bary. To study the chemical induction of the resistance, the foliage of several potato cultivars was sprayed with BABA, fosetyl-aluminium or water (as a control treatment). After 3 days the foliage was inoculated with P. infestans. Seven days after inoculation, development of disease symptoms in the foliage was assessed. In postharvest tuber samples, evidence for enhancement of the defence response was evaluated by measuring the protein content of several hydrolytic enzymes as well as the phenol and phytoalexin content. The highest level of protection against late blight was observed when the chemicals were applied at early stages of crop development. An increase in resistance to late blight was also detected in tubers after harvest. There was also an increase in the protein level of beta-1,3-glucanase and aspartic protease as well as in the phenol and phytoalexin content of potato tuber discs obtained from postharvest tubers of treated plants. Thus the protective effect seemed to persist throughout the whole crop cycle. This treatment may offer the possibility of controlling both foliage and tuber blight and could have a major impact in reducing over-winter survival of P. infestans in tubers.[1]


  1. Enhancement of natural disease resistance in potatoes by chemicals. Andreu, A.B., Guevara, M.G., Wolski, E.A., Daleo, G.R., Caldiz, D.O. Pest Manag. Sci. (2006) [Pubmed]
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