Journal of plant physiology

Endogenous hormone levels and anatomical characters of haustoria in Santalum album L. seedlings before and after attachment to the host.

PMID 22475499


The physiological and anatomical attributes of haustoria tissues in hemi-parasitic Santalum album L. seedlings, growing on the potential host, Kuhnia rosmarnifolia Vent., were investigated before and after attachment to the host. Quantization of endogenous levels of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), zeatin (Z), zeatin riboside (ZR), GA-like substances (GAs) and abscisic acid (ABA) was performed by HPLC. Histological preparations were used to characterize structural differences between pre- and post-attachment haustoria. The contents of GAs and ABA were higher in attached haustoria, with 3.61 and 3.50μgg(-1) fresh weight, respectively, and three times higher than in non-attached haustoria. Cytokinins, Z, ZR and IAA levels were also high, and their contents in attached haustoria increased 2.04-, 2.17-, and 2.82-fold more, respectively, than in non-attached haustoria. A high auxin-to-cytokinin ratio contributed to haustorial development of S. album. A numerous amount of starch in parenchyma cells around the meristematic region above the haustorial gland and the endophyte tissue of the post-attachment haustoria were reported in a Santalaceae member for the first time. Many lysosomes were present and large-scale digestion of host cells occurred at the interface between the parasite and host. The haustorial penetration in S. album into the host stele was suggested to be a function of mechanical force and enzymatic activity. Analysis of the endogenous hormone levels and the structural characters in S. album haustoria indicated that the haustoria were able to synthesize phytohormones, which appeared to be necessary for cell division and differentiation during haustorial development. These results suggest that endogenous hormones are involved in the haustorial development of S. album and in water and nutrient transport in the host-parasite association.