The role of active oxygen species has been studied in spreading soft-rot lesions caused by the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea Pers.:Fr. in leaves of four genotypes of French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Large increases were observed for the aldehydic end-products of oxidative damage, malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, as a result of infection in each of the genotypes studied. Similar increases were found in a stable free radical and g=4.27 Fe(III) signals, but not Mn(II) signals, in electron paramagnetic resonance spectra. These changes were accompanied by large decreases in ascorbic acid levels, with changes in the antioxidant glutathione being genotype dependent.
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