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Assessing the effects of quantitative host resistance on the life-history traits of sporulating parasites with growing lesions

Abstract : Assessing life-history traits of parasites on resistant hosts is crucial in evolutionary ecology. In the particular case of sporulating pathogens with growing lesions, phenotyping is difficult because one needs to disentangle properly pathogen spread from sporulation. By considering Phytophthora infestans on potato, we use mathematical modelling to tackle this issue and refine the assessment of pathogen response to quantitative host resistance. We elaborate a parsimonious leaf-scale model by convolving a lesion growth model and a sporulation function, after a latency period. This model is fitted to data obtained on two isolates inoculated on three cultivars with contrasted resistance level. Our results confirm a significant host–pathogen interaction on the various estimated traits, and a reduction of both pathogen spread and spore production, induced by host resistance. Most interestingly, we highlight that quantitative resistance also changes the sporulation function, the mode of which is significantly time-lagged. This alteration of the infectious period distribution on resistant hosts may have strong impacts on the dynamics of parasite populations, and should be considered when assessing the durability of disease control tactics based on plant resistance management. This inter-disciplinary work also supports the relevance of mechanistic models for analysing phenotypic data of plant–pathogen interactions.
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Melen Leclerc, Julie a J Clément, Didier Andrivon, Frédéric Hamelin. Assessing the effects of quantitative host resistance on the life-history traits of sporulating parasites with growing lesions. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Royal Society, The, 2019, 286 (1912), pp.20191244. ⟨10.1098/rspb.2019.1244⟩. ⟨hal-02352206⟩

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