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A Comparison Of The Death Induced By Fungal Invasion Or Toxic Chemicals In Cowpea Epidermal Cells. II. Responses Induced By Erysiphe Cichoracearum

Susan L. F. Meyer, Michèle C. Heath

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Cowpea leaves were inoculated with the plantain powdery mildew fungus, Erysiphe cichoracearum, and fresh epidermal cells overlying veins were examined by light microscopy before being cleared or prepared for electron microscopy. Fungal appressoria usually formed a haustorium in the underlying nonhost cell, but only after what appeared to be an unsuccessful penetration attempt that induced a transient cytoplasmic aggregate, a ring of autofluorescence in the plant wall (best seen in cleared tissue), and in two examples observed ultrastructurally, a small penetration peg embedded in a callose-like papilla. The haustorium developed from a different penetration peg and elicited the death of the invaded cell. As reported for the death of cowpea epidermal cells elicited by CuCl2, cytoplasmic changes that occurred rapidly in fresh tissue after cytoplasmic streaming had stopped correlated closely with changes in ultrastructure. Compared with the CuCl2 study, microtubules and Golgi bodies disappeared faster and membranes appeared more disorganized. These data suggest that in cowpea epidermal cells, ultrastructural changes accurately predict the onset of cell death and may also reflect differences in its modes of induction.