Green internodal stem tissues of glasshouse grown Populus tremuloides were either wounded or wound-inoculated with Entoleuca mammata (Hypoxylon mammatum) and assayed for phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), caffeic acid -o-methyltransferase (CA-OMT), and cinnamyl-alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) activity over a 96-h period. Lignin deposited in response to the treatments was analyzed by the Klason and the pyrolysis - gas chromatographic (GC) - mass spectroscopy (MS) methodologies. The wound-inoculated treatment resulted in a wound morphology congruent with a typical resistant and susceptible response to E. mammata. Wounding alone resulted in no morphological differences between the two genotypes. In wound-inoculated stem tissue PAL and CAD activities were substantially higher in the resistant relative to the susceptible genotype. Total Klason lignin was similar for both genotypes; however, pyrolysis-GC-MS analysis revealed a difference in the lignin monomeric composition between the two genotypes, with the susceptible genotype accumulating higher levels of hydroxyphenyl units relative to the resistant genotype. It is concluded that differences in PAL and CAD activity and the synthesis of distinct phenylpropanoid monomers distinguish the resistant from the susceptible aspen genotype. Alterations in boundary zone formation due to the differential synthesis of phenylpropanoid monomers and its effect on compartmentalization of the pathogen are discussed.
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- Caffeic acid -o-methyltransferase
- Cinnamyl-alcohol dehydrogenase
- Disease resistance
- Hypoxylon canker
- Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase