The barley leaf rust fungus forms appressoria over host leaf stomata and penetrates via the stomatal pore. High levels of avoidance to leaf rust fungi have been described in some wild accessions of Hordeum species where a prominent wax layer on the stomata inhibits triggering of fungal appressorium differentiation. Leaf rust avoidance has not yet been found in H. vulgare. Since cuticular leaf waxes are implicated in the avoidance trait, we screened 27 eceriferum (cer) mutant lines of H. vulgare for avoidance to barley leaf rust. These mutations affect leaf waxes. Reduction in numbers of germ tubes forming appressoria over stomata was found in some lines, but the greatest reduction (ca 30%) was less than previously found in wild barley spp. or in an accession of H. chilense used here as a check. In one line (cer-zh654), avoidance was due to a combination of factors. Firstly, fewer germ tubes oriented towards stomata and so failed to contact them. Secondly, some germ tubes that encountered stomata did not form appressoria but over-grew them. In this line, therefore, the fungus tended to fail both to locate and to respond to stomata. The appressoria of barley powdery mildew form on leaf epidermal cells that they penetrate directly. On certain cer lines, a proportion of germlings of the barley powdery mildew fungus developed abnormally, suggesting that germlings failed to recognise and/or respond to the leaf surface waxes on these mutants.
|Publication status||Published - 2001|