Pilidiella granati, also known as Coniella granati, is the etiological agent of pomegranate fruit dry rot. This fungal pathogen is also well-known as responsible for both plant collar rot and leaf spot. Because of its aggressiveness and the worldwide diffusion of pomegranate crops, the selection of cultivars less susceptible to this pathogen might represent an interesting preventive control measure. In the present investigation, the role of polyphenols in the susceptibility to P. granati of the two royalties-free pomegranate cultivars Wonderful and Mollar de Elche was compared. Pomegranate fruit were artificially inoculated and lesion diameters were monitored. Furthermore, pathogen DNA was quantified at 12–72 h post-inoculation within fruit rind by a real time PCR assay setup herein, and host total RNA was used in expression assays of genes involved in host-pathogen interaction. Similarly, protein extracts were employed to assess the specific activity of enzymes implicated in defense mechanisms. Pomegranate phenolic compounds were evaluated by HPLC-ESI-MS and MS2. All these data highlighted ‘Wonderful’ as less susceptible to P. granati than ‘Mollar de Elche’. In the first cultivar, the fungal growth seemed controlled by the activation of the phenylpropanoid pathway, the production of ROS, and the alteration of fungal cell wall. Furthermore, antifungal compounds seemed to accumulate in ‘Wonderful’ fruit following inoculation. These data suggest that pomegranate polyphenols have a protective effect against P. granati infection and their content might represent a relevant parameter in the selection of the most suitable cultivars to reduce the economic losses caused by this pathogen.
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|Titolo:||The effect of polyphenols on pomegranate fruit susceptibility to pilidiella granati provides insights into disease tolerance mechanisms|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|