Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Characterization of Kudzu (Pueraria spp.) resistance to Phakopsora pachyrhizi, the causal agent of soybean rust.

Abstract

Kudzu (Pueraria spp.) is an accessory host for soybean rust (SBR) (caused by Phakopsora pachyrhizi) that is widespread throughout the southeastern United States. An expanded survey of kudzu sites was conducted in 2008 to determine the proportion of natural resistance in the north-Florida kudzu population. Of the 139 sites evaluated, ∼18% were found to be free of SBR infection, while 23% had reduced sporulation. Ten accessions of kudzu from north-central Florida were characterized for their response to challenge by a single isolate of P. pachyrhizi under laboratory conditions. Three outcomes were observed: tan lesions with profuse sporulation (susceptible); reddish-brown lesions with delayed, reduced sporulation (resistant); and an immune response in which no lesions developed (immune). Of the 10 accessions, 6 were susceptible, 3 were immune, and 1 was resistant. Cytological examination revealed that resistant interactions were typified by early onset of a multicell hypersensitive response (HR) while typical immune interactions were the result of cell wall depositions that blocked penetration in combination with early onset of the HR. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed to determine the extent of colonization. After 15 days, there was 10-fold less P. pachyrhizi DNA present in resistant compared with susceptible kudzu, while the amount of P. pachyrhizi DNA present in the immune kudzu was below the detection level. Susceptible kudzu had approximately half the amount of P. pachyrhizi DNA present when compared with a susceptible soybean cultivar.