Cytological and Ultrastructural Responses of Platanus acerifolia (Ait.) Willd. Leaves to Cerato-Platanin, a Protein from Ceratocystis fimbriata f.sp. platani

A. Bennici, R. Calamassi, L. Pazzagli, C. Comparini, S. Schiff, R. Bovelli, B. Mori, C. Tani, A. Scala


Cerato-platanin (CP) is a purified protein isolated from the culture filtrate of the ascomycete Ceratocystis
fimbriata f. sp. platani (Cfp), the causal agent of canker stain disease of plane. The responses of cells/tissues of plane
leaves to CP was studied by light microscopy (LM) and by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) using two experimental
procedures. The most significant responses occurred already at 24 h after treatments, and were also visible at
48 h. The main effects of CP were to cause a great increase in primary starch and a certain degree of intercellular and
intracellular disorganization of the spongy parenchyma cells and plasmolysis processes. In addition, an increase of
intracellular phenolic compounds was observed in the palisade cells. The effects of Cfp were similar but less evident
than those of CP.

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