A fungal growth model fitted to carbon-limited dynamics of Rhizoctonia solani


Author for correspondence:
M. J. Jeger
Tel: +44(0)207 594 2428
Fax: +44(0)207 594 2601
Email: m.jeger@imperial.ac.uk


  • • Here, a quasi-steady-state approximation was used to simplify a mathematical model for fungal growth in carbon-limiting systems, and this was fitted to growth dynamics of the soil-borne plant pathogen and saprotroph Rhizoctonia solani.
  • • The model identified a criterion for invasion into carbon-limited environments with two characteristics driving fungal growth, namely the carbon decomposition rate and a measure of carbon use efficiency.
  • • The dynamics of fungal spread through a population of sites with either low (0.0074 mg) or high (0.016 mg) carbon content were well described by the simplified model with faster colonization for the carbon-rich environment.
  • • Rhizoctonia solani responded to a lower carbon availability by increasing the carbon use efficiency and the carbon decomposition rate following colonization. The results are discussed in relation to fungal invasion thresholds in terms of carbon nutrition.