The two fungicides azoxystrobin and fenpropimorph are used against powdery mildew and rust diseases in wheat (Triticum aestivumL). Azoxystrobin, a strobilurin, inhibits fungal mitochondrial respiration and fenpropimorph, a morpholin, represses biosynthesis of ergosterol, the major sterol of fungal membranes. Although the fungitoxic activity of these compounds is well understood, their effects on plant metabolism remain unclear. In contrast to the fungicides which directly affect pathogen metabolism, benzo(1,2,3) thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methylester (BTH) induces resistance against wheat pathogens by the activation of systemic acquired resistance in the host plant. In this study, we monitored gene expression in spring wheat after treatment with each of these agrochemicals in a greenhouse trial using a microarray containing 600 barley cDNA clones. Defence-related genes were strongly induced after treatment with BTH, confirming the activation of a similar set of genes as in dicot plants following salicylic acid treatment. A similar gene expression pattern was observed after treatment with fenpropimorph and some defence-related genes were induced by azoxystrobin, demonstrating that these fungicides also activate a defence reaction. However, less intense responses were triggered than with BTH. The same experiments performed under field conditions gave dramatically different results. No gene showed differential expression after treatment and defence genes were already expressed at a high level before application of the agrochemicals. These differences in the expression patterns between the two environments demonstrate the importance of plant growth conditions for testing the impact of agrochemicals on plant metabolism.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 3, 2005
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