Relationship between growth, secondary metabolism, and resistance of apple

S. Rühmann, C. Leser, M. Bannert, D. Treutter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


The paper shows that N-induced vigorous shoot growth increases susceptibility of apple trees to Venturia inaequalis. This is due to a weakened defence in infected leaves of the high N cultures showing large lesions with excessive sporulation, whereas infected leaves from the low N cultures exhibited successful defence with only small Chlorotic lesions and no sporulation. This might be explained by biosynthesis of phenylpropanoids in the young leaves of the resistant trees. A negative correlation between shoot growth of apple trees and the concentration of phenolic compounds in young leaves was found. Studies on in vitro shoot cultures revealed that the availability of sugars for the phenylpropanoid pathway is a strong regulatory factor. The ratio of sucrose and nitrogen in the medium influenced the total level of secondary products in the in vitro grown plantlets. Moreover, the relative deficiency of sugars was responsible for a metabolic block mainly at the level of glucosyl transferase and concomitant aglycone accumulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalPlant Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Growth
  • Malus domestica
  • Nitrogen
  • Phenylpropanoids
  • Resistance
  • Venturia inaequalis


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