Tissue culture of the alternate hosts of wheat, rye and oat rusts and their response to in vitro inoculation with the rust pathogens

Shmuel Zilkah, Evgenia Faingersh, Arie Rotbaum, Rima Dvorkin, Tamar Eilam, Yehoshua Anikster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alternate host plants of cereal rust fungi are necessary for studying the rust sexual cycle and pathogenicity. These plants are usually difficult to propagate through cloning, while seed-propagated plants may have variable responses to the pathogen. To overcome these obstacles, tissue culture, under controlled and aseptic conditions, was utilized for clonal propagation and in vitro inoculation of the following species: Rhamnus palaestinus Boiss., the alternate host of oat (Avena spp.) crown rust (Puccinia coronata Corda); Thalictrum speciosissimum L., the alternate host of brown leaf rust of wheat (Puccinia recondita f. sp. tritici Eriks. and Henn.); and Lycopsis arvensis L., the alternate host of rye (Secala spp.) leaf rust (Puccinia recondita f. sp. recondita Rob. and Desm.). Shoot culture procedures for initial establishment and proliferation were developed for all three alternate host species. Shoot cultures were multiplied at rates ranging from 0.3 to 1.7 shoots/week. Successful infection following inoculation with teliospores of the corresponding rust fungi was obtained for R. palaestinus and T. speciosissimum but not for L. arvensis. The hardening and acclimatization efficiency of rooted T. speciosissimum and L. arvensis was of 80-90%. The propagation efficiency for R. palaestinus was not successful because of the low rate and poor quality of its rooting. It is concluded that the in vitro system might be used as an alternative method for inoculation and multiplication of alternate hosts of cereal rusts, although more experimentation is needed to define accurately the appropriate conditions for the proper infection response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
JournalPlant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


  • Avena spp.
  • Leaf rust
  • Lycopsis arvensis
  • Puccinia recondita
  • Rhamnus palaestinus
  • Secala spp.
  • Thalictrum speciosissimum
  • Triticum spp.


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