Microbial Ecology

Interactions Between Yeasts and Grapevines: Filamentous Growth, Endopolygalacturonase and Phytopathogenicity of Colonizing Yeasts

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Courtesy of Microbial Ecology

Abstract 
It has been clearly established that phytopathogenic fungi, bacteria, and viruses exert biotic stresses on plants. Much less is known, however, about the interactions between enological species of yeast and their host plants. In a previous study, we described how Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the most common enological yeast, can act as a grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) pathogen, causing growth retardation or plant death. In the present in vitro study on 11 strains of yeast belonging to different genera, which often occur on the surfaces of vineyard grapes and V. vinifera, a link was found to exist between strain phytopathogenecity and pseudohyphal growth habits and/or endopolygalacturonase activity. The results obtained here are consistent with earlier findings showing that the phytopathogenicity of yeast strains depends on the filamentous growth process, and show that endopolygalacturonase alone is not responsible for the invasion of plants tissues. The mechanisms observed here may be of significant ecological importance and may help to explain the long periods of yeast survival found to occur in vineyards.

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