Apical leaf necrosis and leaf nitrogen dynamics in diseased leaves: a model study
van den Berg, F., Robert, C., Shaw, M. W. and van den Bosch, F. (2007) Apical leaf necrosis and leaf nitrogen dynamics in diseased leaves: a model study. Plant Pathology, 56 (3). pp. 424-436. ISSN 0032-0862
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3059.2007.01565.x
Apical leaf necrosis is a physiological process related to nitrogen (N) dynamics in the leaf. Pathogens use leaf nutrients and can thus accelerate this physiological apical necrosis. This process differs from necrosis occurring around pathogen lesions (lesion-induced necrosis), which is a direct result of the interaction between pathogen hyphae and leaf cells. This paper primarily concentrates on apical necrosis, only incorporating lesion-induced necrosis by necessity. The relationship between pathogen dynamics and physiological apical leaf necrosis is modelled through leaf nitrogen dynamics. The specific case of Puccinia triticina infections on Triticum aestivum flag leaves is studied. In the model, conversion of indirectly available N in the form of, for example, leaf cell proteins (N-2(t)) into directly available N (N-1(t), i.e. the form of N that can directly be used by either pathogen or plant sinks) results in apical necrosis. The model reproduces observed trends of disease severity, apical necrosis and green leaf area (GLA) and leaf N dynamics of uninfected and infected leaves. Decreasing the initial amount of directly available N results in earlier necrosis onset and longer necrosis duration. Decreasing the initial amount of indirectly available N, has no effect on necrosis onset and shortens necrosis duration. The model could be used to develop hypotheses on how the disease-GLA relation affects yield loss, which can be tested experimentally. Upon incorporation into crop simulation models, the model might provide a tool to more accurately estimate crop yield and effects of disease management strategies in crops sensitive to fungal pathogens.