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Research article2011Peer reviewedOpen access

The pathogenic white-rot fungus Heterobasidion parviporum triggers non-specific defence responses in the bark of Norway spruce

Arnerup, Jenny; Lind, Marten; Olson, Ake; Stenlid, Jan; Elfstrand, Malin


Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] is one of the economically most important conifer species in Europe. The major pathogen on Norway spruce is Heterobasidion parviporum (Fr.) Niemela & Korhonen. To achieve a better understanding of Norway spruce's defence mechanisms, transcriptional responses in bark to H. parviporum infection were compared with the response to wounding using cDNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism. The majority of the recovered transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) showed a similar expression pattern for infection and wounding treatment, although inoculated samples showed an enhanced reaction. Genes related to systemic acquired resistance, e.g., PR1, accumulated after H. parviporum infection. Simultaneously, several transcripts involved in various aspects of jasmonic acid (JA)- and ethylene (ET)-mediated signalling accumulated. Genes involved in the ubiquitin/proteasome system were also regulated. Expression patterns have been confirmed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The expression patterns of the isolated TDFs suggest that infection with H. parviporum in Norway spruce induces a broad defence, with many similarities to non-specific defence responses in angiosperms. The parallel induction of salicylic acid- and JA/ET-mediated pathways implies spatially separated responses in different cell layers, with and without hyphal contact. A set of TDFs were analysed in an independent experiment with unrelated material treated with wounding or with inoculation with H. parviporum or Phlebiopsis gigantea, verifying the original observations and underlining the non-specific defence responses. In addition, our data suggest that rerouting of carbon in secondary metabolism is an integral part of Norway spruce induced defence. We report the sequences of three 3-deoxy-d-arabino-heptulosonate 7-phosphate synthase genes (PaDAHP1, PaDAHP2 and PaDAHP3) and their relative expression in response to wounding and infection with H. parviporum and P. gigantea. The results clearly indicate differential regulation of the three DAHPs in the induced defence responses in Norway spruce. This study gives insights into the central mechanisms in the induced defences in Norway spruce.


DAHP; gene expression; Heterobasidion parviporum; jasmonic acid; Picea abies; salicylic acid

Published in

Tree Physiology
2011, Volume: 31, number: 11, pages: 1262-1272
Publisher: Oxford University Press