Open Access

Relationship of Resistance-Related Enzyme Activity and Salicylic Acid Content in Phalaenopsis Species with Different Levels of Resistance to Dickeya dadantii


Orchids (Phalaenopsis) are ornamental plants that are cultivated commercially and in great demand in the market. Soft-rot disease (SRD) caused by the necrotrophic pathogen Dickeya dadantii is a cause of considerable economic loss to cultivators of many orchid species. Our previous experiment identified a limited number of species that were resistant to D. dadantii. This study aimed to validate the resistance level of four Phalaenopsis species in a detached leaf inoculation protocol to identify the resistance mechanism(s) involved. Soft-rot symptom diameter was measured from 6 to 18 hours post-inoculation (HPI) with D. dadantii. Disease assessment confirmed that P. amboinensis is a resistant species, P. pantherina is a susceptible species, and P. amabilis and P. schilleriana are very susceptible species. There was no difference in the lignin content between the resistant and very susceptible species. Detailed observation of resistant and very susceptible species, P. amboinensis vs. P. amabilis, revealed higher phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and peroxidase (POD) in P. amabilis than in P. amboinensis. In contrast, there was higher salicylic acid (SA) content in P. amboinensis than in P. amabilis. These results suggest that POD and PAL activities may not be effective in defense against soft-rot disease, while SA plays an important role in the resistance of P. amboinensis to D. dadantii. Low PAL activity in P. amboinensis implies that the SA contents from the isochorismate pathway may be involved in the mechanism of P. amboinensis resistance to D. dadantii. Therefore, endogenous SA content may be a good indicator for screening resistant species in Phalaenopsis.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Plant Science, Ecology, other