A hyperparasite affects the population dynamics of a wild plant pathogen

Tollenaere, C. and Pernechele, B. and Mäkinen, H. S. and Parratt, S.R. and Németh Z., Márk and Kovács, M. Gábor and Kiss, Levente (2014) A hyperparasite affects the population dynamics of a wild plant pathogen. MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, 23. pp. 5877-5887. ISSN 0962-1083


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Assessing the impact of natural enemies of plant and animal pathogens on their host’s population dynamics is needed to determine the role of hyperparasites in affecting disease dynamics, and their potential for use in efficient control strategies of patho- gens. Here, we focus on the long-term study describing metapopulation dynamics of an obligate pathogen, the powdery mildew ( Podosphaera plantaginis ) naturally infect- ing its wild host plant ( Plantago lanceolata ) in the fragmented landscape of the � Aland archipelago (southwest Finland). Regionally, the pathogen persists through a balance of extinctions and colonizations, yet factors affecting extinction rates remain poorly understood. Mycoparasites of the genus Ampelomyces appear as good candidates for testing the role of a hyperparasite, i.e. a parasite of other parasites, in the regulation of their fungal hosts’ population dynamics. For this purpose, we first designed a quantita- tive PCR assay for detection of Ampelomyces spp. in field-collected samples. This newly developed molecular test was then applied to a large-scale sampling within the � Aland archipelago, revealing that Ampelomyces is a widespread hyperparasite in this system, with high variability in prevalence among populations. We found that the hyperparasite was more common on leaves where multiple powdery mildew strains coexist, a pattern that may be attributed to differential exposure. Moreover, the preva- lence of Ampelomyces at the plant level negatively affected the overwinter survival of its fungal host. We conclude that this hyperparasite may likely impact on its host pop- ulation dynamics and argue for increased focus on the role of hyperparasites in disease dynamics.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz > QH540 Ecology / ökológia
Q Science / természettudomány > QR Microbiology / mikrobiológia
S Agriculture / mezőgazdaság > S1 Agriculture (General) / mezőgazdaság általában
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2014 15:40
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2014 15:40

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