The development and the possible mechanism of the chitosan-induced resistance to viral infection were investigated in potato plants. The plants were sprayed with a solution of chitosans (1 mg/ml) with the mol wt of 3, 36, and 120 kD. After 1, 2, 3, or 4 days, the treated leaves were cut off and mechanically infected with the potato virus X (PVX). The disks cut out from the inoculated leaves were used for determining virus accumulation, callose content, and ribonuclease and β-1,3-glucanase activities. In another set of experiments, the plants were infected with PVX within 1, 4, or 8 days after chitosan treatment, and the number of systemically infected plants was determined. It was found that, a day after treatment, the plants acquired a resistance to viral infection. The disks from the chitosan-treated leaves, as compared to the control, accumulated less amount of virus. The chitosan treatment also significantly decreased the number of systemically infected plants as compared to the control. After 2–3 days, the resistance disappeared or even gave way to an increased susceptibility to the infection; subsequently, the resistance increased again. The extent of the resistance correlated with the callose content and the level of ribonuclease activity observed on the infection day. The resistance towards the infection with PVX is probably mediated by the callose and ribonuclease induction. The cultivation of test-tube potato plants from the cuttings previously infected with PVX on the chitosan-containing nutrient medium did not eradicate the viral infection from the plants.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 10, 2004
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