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The response of apple stems to wound infection by Gloeosporium perennans


, : The response of apple stems to wound infection by Gloeosporium perennans. Jour Hort Sci 34(2): 72-84

Anatomical studies on the establishment of infections by Gloeosporium perennans on apple branches showed that the defensive mechanism of the host comprised the production of suberized barriers by bark phellogens and the blocking of xylem vessels by gum deposition. These responses followed wounding, whether or not the wounds were inoculated with G. perennans, but the response was delayed by the presence of the fungus. The size and form of lesion induced by inoculation was therefore largely determined by the effect of the fungus in postponing the normal process of wound healing. This delaying effect, and consequently the invasiveness of the parasite, was greatest during the period of host dormancy. The progress of invasion was most rapid through the sieve tubes of the phloem and the vessels and fibres of the outer xylem. Longitudinal intercellular spread through the cortex was slower. Intracellular infection of the pith and medullary ray cells occurred in pruning-wound infections. When the progress of the infection had been arrested, the phellogen and cambium laid down barriers of callus tissue consisting of parenchymatous outer cells surrounding a core of wound wood. After the lesion had been thus isolated, the fungus remained alive as a saprophyte and subsequently formed acervuli on the exposed dead host tissue. Exceptionally, a limited spread of infection past the suberized barriers appeared to be effected through the fibre bundles of the inner cortex.

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