Role of salicylic acid in phosphite-induced protection against Oomycetes; a Phytophthora cinnamomi - Lupinus augustifolius model system

Publication Type:

Journal Article


European Journal of Plant Pathology, Volume 141, Issue 3, p.559 - 569 (2015)



Phosphite is used to control Oomycetes in a wide range of horticultural and native plant species worldwide. However, phosphite can be phytotoxic, and some pathogens have exhibited a reduction in the effectiveness of phosphite due to prolonged use. In this study, salicylic acid (SA) was investigated as an alter- native, or supplementary, treatment to be used to protect plant species. With the use of aeroponics chambers, foliar application of phosphite, SA, and phosphite/SA to Lupinus augustifolius was assessed in relation to root tip damage, in planta phosphite and SA concentration and lesion development. Both phosphite and SA were measurable at the root tip within 24 h of application, and all treatments significantly (P0.05) reduced the lesion length at 7 days. However, while phosphite and SA application increased the in planta SA concentration, phosphite caused significantly more damage to the root tip by reducing root cap layers and length than the SA, or phosphite/SA application. This study supports the notion that phosphite-induced sensitivity may be SA- dependent, as both phosphite and SA were found to control P. cinnamomi and stimulate SA accumulation. A combination of phosphite and SA may be more beneficial to plants if it can reduce phytotoxic effects and reduce the chance of pathogen sensitivity to phosphite.