A novel method for efficient and abundant production of Phytophthora brassicae zoospores on Brussels sprout leaf discs

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Background - Phytophthora species are notorious oomycete pathogens that cause diseases on a wide range of plants. Our understanding how these pathogens are able to infect their host plants will benefit greatly from information obtained from model systems representative for plant-Phytophthora interactions. One attractive model system is the interaction between Arabidopsis and Phytophthora brassicae. Under laboratory conditions, Arabidopsis can be easily infected with mycelial plugs as inoculum. In the disease cycle, however, sporangia or zoospores are the infectious propagules. Since the current P. brassicae zoospore isolation methods are generally regarded as inefficient, we aimed at developing an alternative method for obtaining high concentrations of P. brassicae zoospores. Results - P. brassicae isolates were tested for pathogenicity on Brussels sprout plants (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera). Microscopic examination of leaves, stems and roots infected with a GFP-tagged transformant of P. brassicae clearly demonstrated the susceptibility of the various tissues. Leaf discs were cut from infected Brussels sprout leaves, transferred to microwell plates and submerged in small amounts of water. In the leaf discs the hyphae proliferated and abundant formation of zoosporangia was observed. Upon maturation the zoosporangia released zoospores in high amounts and zoospore production continued during a period of at least four weeks. The zoospores were shown to be infectious on Brussels sprouts and Arabidopsis. Conclusion - The in vitro leaf disc method established from P. brassicae infected Brussels sprout leaves facilitates convenient and high-throughput production of infectious zoospores and is thus suitable to drive small and large scale inoculation experiments. The system has the advantage that zoospores are produced continuously over a period of at least one month
Original languageEnglish
Article number111
Number of pages7
JournalBMC Plant Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • arabidopsis-thaliana
  • resistance
  • porri
  • infection
  • responses
  • acid


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