Biochemical analysis of induced resistance in chickpea against broomrape (Orobanche foetida) by rhizobia inoculation
This study examined the capacity of Rhizobium sp. strain PchAZM to reduce parasitism of chickpea by Orobanche foetida under greenhouse conditions, and assessed the relative impact of rhizobia on the expression of chickpea defense response against broomrape. Growth chamber experiments using Petri dishes revealed that rhizobia infection on chickpea roots reduced broomrape seed germination, and restricted the broomrape attachment to host roots while retarding tubercle formation and development by the parasite. In pot experiments, chickpea roots inoculated with rhizobia reduced the total number of broomrape by up to 90%. Broomrape necrosis was observed both before and after parasite attachment to inoculated chickpea roots in Petri dishes and pot experiments. Reduction in infection was accompanied by enhanced levels of the defence-related enzymes phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) and peroxidase (POX). Increased levels of phenolics were recorded in the roots of rhizobia-inoculated plants grown in the presence of broomrape. The results suggest that rhizobia could be used for protection of chickpea against O. foetida.
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