Field-based experimental evolution of three cereal pathogens using a mark–release–recapture strategy
Article first published online: 24 SEP 2013
© 2013 British Society for Plant Pathology
Special Issue: Fitness Costs and Trade-offs in Plant–Parasite Interactions
Volume 62, Issue Supplement S1, pages 106–114, December 2013
How to Cite
Zhan, J. and McDonald, B. A. (2013), Field-based experimental evolution of three cereal pathogens using a mark–release–recapture strategy. Plant Pathology, 62: 106–114. doi: 10.1111/ppa.12130
- Issue published online: 16 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 24 SEP 2013
- Chinese National Science Foundation. Grant Number: 31071655
- ETH Zurich.
- Bayesian theory;
- host heterogeneity;
- natural selection;
Field-based experimental evolution is a research approach in which study species are allowed to evolve across several generations under well-defined field conditions. Field-based experiments in pathogen evolution became feasible with advances in molecular markers and computing technologies. Critical to success of these experiments is the choice of parental genotypes, molecular markers, experimental sites and field plot design. The current study used field-based experimental evolution based on a mark–release–recapture strategy to analyse the dynamics of interstrain competition and host specialization in the cereal pathogens Zymoseptoria tritici, Phaeosphaeria nodorum and Rhynchosporium commune. In all three pathogen–plant interactions, compelling evidence was found indicating that increasing host heterogeneity by growing cultivar mixtures slowed down the evolution of the corresponding pathogen populations. Evidence for differential selection between parasitic and saprophytic phases of the life cycle in P. nodorum and R. commune was also found. The effect of partial resistance on the evolution of the experimental pathogen populations was mixed. A decreased rate of evolution was found in the pathogen populations sampled from partially resistant hosts in Z. tritici and P. nodorum but not R. commune. The findings indicate that field-based experimental evolution offers a powerful approach to test hypotheses associated with the evolution of plant pathogens.