Plasmopara viticola, the oomycete causing grapevine downy mildew, is one of the most important pathogens in viticulture. P. viticola is a polycyclic pathogen, able to carry out numerous secondary cycles of infection during a single vegetative grapevine season, by producing asexual spores (zoospores) within sporangia. The extent of these infections is strongly influenced by both the quantity (density) and quality (infectivity) of the inoculum produced by the pathogen. To date, the protocols for evaluating all these characteristics are quite limited and time-consuming and do not allow all the information to be obtained in a single run. In this study, a protocol combining flow cytometry (FCM) and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) was developed to investigate the composition, the infection efficiency and the dynamics of the inoculum produced by P. viticola for secondary infection cycles. In our analyses, we identified different structures within the inoculum, including degenerated and intact sporangia. The latter have been sorted, and single sporangia were directly inoculated on grapevine leaf discs, thus allowing a thorough investigation of the infection dynamics and efficiency. In detail, we determined that, in our conditions, 8% of sporangia were able to infect the leaves and that on a susceptible variety, the time required by the pathogen to reach 50% of total infection is about 10 days. The analytical approach developed in this study could open a new perspective to shed light on the biology and epidemiology of this important pathogen. IMPORTANCE P. viticola secondary infections contribute significantly to the epidemiology of this important plant pathogen. However, the infection dynamics of asexual spores produced by this organism are still poorly investigated. The main challenges in dissecting the grapevine-P. viticola interaction in vitro are attributable to the biotrophic adaptation of the pathogen. This work provides new insights into the infection efficiency and dynamics imputable to P. viticola sporangia, contributing useful information on grapevine downy mildew epidemiology. Moreover, future applications of the sorting protocol developed in this work could yield a significant and positive impact in the study of P. viticola, providing unmatched resolution, precision, and accuracy compared with the traditional techniques.

Evaluation of the characteristics and infectivity of the secondary inoculum produced by Plasmopara viticola on grapevine leaves by means of flow cytometry and fluorescence-activated cell sorting / F. Massi, D. Marciano, G. Russo, M. Stuknyte, S. Arioli, D. Mora, S.L. Toffolatti. - In: APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY. - ISSN 0099-2240. - 88:21(2022 Nov), pp. e0101022.1-e0101022.11. [10.1128/aem.01010-22]

Evaluation of the characteristics and infectivity of the secondary inoculum produced by Plasmopara viticola on grapevine leaves by means of flow cytometry and fluorescence-activated cell sorting

F. Massi
Primo
;
D. Marciano;M. Stuknyte;S. Arioli
;
D. Mora
Penultimo
;
S.L. Toffolatti
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Plasmopara viticola, the oomycete causing grapevine downy mildew, is one of the most important pathogens in viticulture. P. viticola is a polycyclic pathogen, able to carry out numerous secondary cycles of infection during a single vegetative grapevine season, by producing asexual spores (zoospores) within sporangia. The extent of these infections is strongly influenced by both the quantity (density) and quality (infectivity) of the inoculum produced by the pathogen. To date, the protocols for evaluating all these characteristics are quite limited and time-consuming and do not allow all the information to be obtained in a single run. In this study, a protocol combining flow cytometry (FCM) and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) was developed to investigate the composition, the infection efficiency and the dynamics of the inoculum produced by P. viticola for secondary infection cycles. In our analyses, we identified different structures within the inoculum, including degenerated and intact sporangia. The latter have been sorted, and single sporangia were directly inoculated on grapevine leaf discs, thus allowing a thorough investigation of the infection dynamics and efficiency. In detail, we determined that, in our conditions, 8% of sporangia were able to infect the leaves and that on a susceptible variety, the time required by the pathogen to reach 50% of total infection is about 10 days. The analytical approach developed in this study could open a new perspective to shed light on the biology and epidemiology of this important pathogen. IMPORTANCE P. viticola secondary infections contribute significantly to the epidemiology of this important plant pathogen. However, the infection dynamics of asexual spores produced by this organism are still poorly investigated. The main challenges in dissecting the grapevine-P. viticola interaction in vitro are attributable to the biotrophic adaptation of the pathogen. This work provides new insights into the infection efficiency and dynamics imputable to P. viticola sporangia, contributing useful information on grapevine downy mildew epidemiology. Moreover, future applications of the sorting protocol developed in this work could yield a significant and positive impact in the study of P. viticola, providing unmatched resolution, precision, and accuracy compared with the traditional techniques.
epidemiology; fungal disease; infection dynamics; obligate parasite; plant pathology
Settore AGR/12 - Patologia Vegetale
Settore AGR/16 - Microbiologia Agraria
PSRL218OFAIL_01 - Piano di Sostegno alla Ricerca 2015-2017 - Linea 2 "Dotazione annuale per attività istituzionali" (anno 2018) - FAILLA, OSVALDO - PSR_LINEA2_ / Piano di sviluppo di ricerca - Dotazioni dipartimentali - Linea 2 - 2018
PSRL218MPORR_01 - Piano di Sostegno alla Ricerca 2015-2017 - Linea 2 "Dotazione annuale per attività istituzionali" (anno 2018) - PORRINI, MARISA - PSR_LINEA2_ / Piano di sviluppo di ricerca - Dotazioni dipartimentali - Linea 2 - 2018
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/943632
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