The effect of sooty mold on fluorescence and gas exchange properties of olive tree

Sónia A.P. SANTOS, Conceição SANTOS, Sónia SILVA, Glória PINTO, Laura M. TORRES, António J.A. NOGUEIRA
652 133


Sooty mold is a complex of dark-pigmented fungi that covers leaves and branches of the olive tree (Olea europaea L.). This coverage can bring several consequences for the plant, such as decrease of the photosynthetic rate. Therefore, this study aims to understand the effect of sooty mold on fluorescence and gas exchange of olive leaves. Olive leaves were field-collected and histological, physiological (water content, fluorescence parameters, and carbon dioxide fluxes), and biochemical (osmolality; chlorophyll a, b, and a/b contents; and lipid peroxidation) analyses were performed in healthy leaves and in leaves covered with sooty mold. Histological analysis revealed a complex fungal hyphae proliferation on both leaf surfaces of covered leaves that predominated on the abaxial surface. Sooty mold-covered leaves showed significantly lower levels of water content and of basal (F0), maximal (Fm), and variable fluorescence (Fv). The proliferation of the sooty mold resulted in a decrease of fluorescence parameters, foliar free gas exchanges, and water content. Based on these results, we can conclude that sooty mold infection could affect light reaching leaves and the normal physiological metabolism of the plant (as photosynthesis) would be affected, with consequences for production.


Key words: Sooty mold, Olea europaea, fluorescence, chlorophyll, gas exchange, CO2 flux, histology, lipid peroxidation

Full Text:



Arnon DI (1946). Copper enzymes in isolated chloroplasts. Polyphenoloxidases in Beta vulgaris. Plant Physiol 24: 1–10.

Baldini E, Facini O, Nerozzi F, Rossi F, Rotondi A (1997). Leaf characteristics and optical properties of different woody species. Trees 12: 73–81.

Beede RH, Goldhamer DA (1994). Olive irrigation management. In: Ferguson L, Sibbett GS, Martin GC, editors. Olive Production Manual. Oakland, CA, USA: University of California Publication 3353, pp. 61–68.

Chartzoulakis K, Patakas A, Bosabalidis AM (1999). Changes in water relations, photosynthesis and leaf anatomy induced by intermittent drought in two olive cultivars. Environ Exp Bot 42: 113–120.

Cozzi G, Stornelli C, Moretti A, Logrieco A., Porcelli F (2002). Field evaluation of Fusarium larvarum formulations in the biocontrol of Saissetia oleae on olive in Apulia. Acta Hortic 586: 811–814.

Demiral MA, Aktaş Uygun D, Uygun M, Kasırğa E, Karagözler AA (2011). Biochemical response of Olea europaea cv. Gemlik to short-term salt stress. Turk J Biol 35: 433–442.

Dhindsa RS, Matowe W (1981). Drought tolerance in two mosses: correlated with enzymatic defense against lipid peroxidation. J Exp Bot 32: 79–91.

Filho JPL, Paiva EAS (2006). The effect of photosynthesis and mesophyll structure of Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) King., Meliaceae). Bragantia 65: 11–17.

Guo DP, Guo YP, Zhao JP, Liu H, Peng Y, Wang QM, Chen JS, Rao GZ (2005). Photosynthetic rate and chlorophyll fluorescence in leaves of stem mustard (Brassica juncea var. tsatsai) after turnip mosaic virus infection. Plant Sci 168: 57–63.

Heinemeyer O, Insam H, Kaiser EA, Walenzik G (1989). Soil microbial biomass and respiration measurements: an automated technique based on infra-red gas analysis. Plant Soil 116: 191–195.

Jouraeva VA, Johnson DL, Hassett JP, Nowak DJ, Shipunova NA, Barbarossa D (2006). Role of sooty mold fungi in accumulation of fine-particle-associated PAHs and metals on deciduous leaves. Environ Res 102: 272–282.

Loumou A, Giourga C (2003). Olive groves: “The life and identity of the Mediterranean”. Agr Hum Values 20: 87–95.

Lutts S, Kinet JM, Bouharmont J (1996). NaCl-induced senescence in leaves of rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivars differing in salinity resistance. Ann Bot 78: 389–398.

Maxwell K, Johnson GN (2000). Chlorophyll fluorescence – a practical guide. J Exp Bot 51: 659–668.

Nieves-Rivera AM (2005). Coastal Mycology of Puerto Rico: A Survey and Biological Aspects of Marine Estuarine and Mangrove Fungi. PhD, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Noguera V, Verdş MJ, Gómez Cadenas A, Jacas JA (2003). Ciclo biológico, dinámica poblacional y enemigos naturales de Saissetia oleae Olivier (Homoptera: Coccidae), en olivares del Alto Palancia (Castellón). Bol San Veg Plagas 29: 495–504 (article in Spanish).

Nuberg I, Yunusa I (2003). Olive water use and yield - monitoring the relationship. A report for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. Kingston, ACT, Australia: RIRDC.

Panis A (1977a). Lecaninos (Homoptera, Coccoidea, Coccidae) dentro del plan de lucha integrada en la citricultura mediterránea. Bol San Veg Plagas 3: 111–119 (article in Spanish).

Panis A (1977b). Observations sur la propagation et les consequences de la fumagine de l’olivier. Olea: 59–62 (article in Spanish).

Passos-Carvalho J, Torres LM, Pereira JA, Bento AA (2003). A cochonilha-negra Saissetia oleae (Olivier, 1791) (Homoptera: Coccidae). Lisbon, Portugal: INIA/UTAD/ESAB (in Portuguese).

Pereira JAC (2004). Bioecologia da cochonilha negra, Saissetia oleae (Olivier), na oliveira, em Trás-os-Montes. PhD, University of Trás-os Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal (in Portuguese).

Pinto G (2007). Regeneração de plantas de Eucalyptus globulus por embriogénese somática. PhD, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal (in Portuguese).

Pinto G, Valentim H, Costa A, Santos CV (2002). Somatic embryogenesis in leaf callus from mature Quercus suber L. tree. In Vitro Cell Dev Pl 38: 569–572.

Reynolds DR (1999). Capnodium citri: the sooty mold fungi comprising the taxon concept. Mycopathologia 148: 141–147.

Santos C, Fragoeiro S, Phillips A (2005). Physiological response of grapevine cultivars and a rootstock to infection with Phaeoacremonium and Phaeomoniella isolates: an in vitro approach using plants and calluses. Sci Hortic 103: 187–198.

Santos CV, Campos A, Azevedo H, Caldeira G (2001). Nutritional imbalance and senescence induced in plants and calli exposed to KCl. J Exp Bot 52: 351–360.

Schreiber U, Bilger W, Neubauer, C (1994). Chlorophyll fluorescence as a nonintrusive indicator for rapid assessment of in vivo photosynthesis. In: Schulze ED, Caldwell, MM, editors. Ecophysiology of Photosynthesis. Berlin: Springer, pp. 49–70.

Shtienberg D (1992). Effects of foliar diseases on gas exchange processes: a comparative study. Phytopathology 82: 760–765.

Sparks D, Yates IE (1999). Pecan cultivar susceptibility to sooty mold related to leaf surface morphology. J Am Soc Hort Sci 116: 6–9.

SPSS (1999). SigmaScan Pro 5.0.0 – Image Analysis Software. Chicago: SPSS Inc.

Synková H, Semorádová Š, Schnablová R, Müller K, Pospíšilová J, Ryšlavá H, Malbeck J, Čeřovská N (2006). Effects of biotic stress caused by Potato virus Y on photosynthesis in ipt transgenic and control Nicotiana tabacum L. Plant Sci 171: 607–616. ter Braak CJF, Šmilauer P (2002). CANOCO Reference Manual and User’s Guide to CANOCO for Windows: Software for Canonical Community Ordination, Version 4.5. Ithaca, NY, USA: Microcomputer Power.

Van den Brink PJ, Van den Brink NW, ter Braak CJF (2003). Multivariate analysis of ecotoxicological data using ordination: demonstrations of utility on the basis of various examples. Aust J Ecotox 9: 141–156.

Wood BW, Tedders WL, Reilly, CC (1988). Sooty mold fungus on pecan foliage suppresses light penetration on net photosynthesis. Hort Science 23: 851–853.

Zar JH (1996). Biostatistical Analysis, 4th ed. London, UK: Prentice Hall.