Characterization of Botrytis–plant interactions using PathTrack©—an automated system for dynamic analysis of disease development

Elad Eizner, Mordechi Ronen, Yonatan Gur, Assaf Gavish, Wenjun Zhu, Amir Sharon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The measurement of disease development is integral in studies on plant–microbe interactions. To address the need for a dynamic and quantitative disease evaluation, we developed PathTrack©, and used it to analyse the interaction of plants with Botrytis cinerea. PathTrack© is composed of an infection chamber, a photography unit and software that produces video files and numerical values of disease progression. We identified a previously unrecognized infection stage and determined numerical parameters of pathogenic development. Using these parameters, we identified differences in disease dynamics between seemingly similar B. cinerea pathogenicity mutants, and revealed new details on plant susceptibility to the fungus. We showed that the difference between the lesion expansion rate on leaves and colony spreading rate on artificial medium reflects the levels of the plant immune system, suggesting that this parameter can be used to quantify plant defence. Our results shed new light and reveal new details of the interaction between the model necrotrophic pathogen B. cinerea and plants. The concept that we present is universal and may be applied to facilitate the study of various types of plant–pathogen association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-512
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2017

Keywords

  • Botrytis cinerea
  • disease measurement
  • image analysis
  • necrotrophic development
  • plant resistance

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