Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Sclerotiniaceae) is a plant pathogenic fungus that causes white mold disease in vegetable crops, including the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Proteases produced by fungi are normally an important part of the pathogenic process in the host. We examined the effect of different carbon sources - pectin, glucose, and cell wall of P. vulgaris on the production of proteases in cultures of S. sclerotiorum. These proteases were also assayed in infected P. vulgaris plants.
Polygalacturonase-inhibiting proteins are leucine-rich repeat proteins that inhibit fungal endopolygalacturonases. The interaction of polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein with endopolygalacturonases limits the destructive potential of endopolygalacturonases and may trigger plant defense responses induced by oligogalacturonides. We examined the expression of fungal pg and plant Pvpgip genes in bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) stems infected with Sclerotinia sclerotiorum to determine whether any of them are associated with the infection process.
The genetic variability of 40 Sclerotinia sclerotiorum isolates from various fields widely distributed throughout Brazil and different host crops was analyzed using RAPD markers and mycelial compatibility groupings (MCGs). The isolates were characterized using 16 random primers of the OPERON series, which produced 121 DNA fragments. UPGMA cluster analysis using Jaccard’s genetic distance and MCGs allowed separation of the isolates into three clusters, with similarity indices of 68.2, 61.8, and 61.8%, and five MCGs.