A hyperparasite affects the population dynamics of a wild plant pathogen

Tollenaere, C. and Pernechele, B. and Makinen, H. S. and Parratt, S. R. and Nemeth, M. Z. and Kovacs, G. M. and Kiss, L. and Tack, A. J. M. and Laine, A.-L. (2014) A hyperparasite affects the population dynamics of a wild plant pathogen. Molecular Ecology, 23 (23). pp. 5877-5887. ISSN 0962-1083

Abstract

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 pathogens. Here, we focus on the long-term study describing metapopulation dynamics of an obligate pathogen, the powdery mildew (Podosphaera plantaginis) naturally infecting its wild host plant (Plantago lanceolata) in the fragmented landscape of the Åland 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 quantitative 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 Åland 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 prevalence 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 population dynamics and argue for increased focus on the role of hyperparasites in disease dynamics.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version due to publisher copyright policy. However, article can be freely accessed through the publisher's website at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mec.12908/pdf
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2017 00:01
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2017 04:47
Uncontrolled Keywords: disease; hyperparasite; metapopulation; molecular detection; plant pathogen; regulation; Ascomycota; fungal DNA; DNA, ribosomal spacer; Finland; host-pathogen interactions; plant diseases; Plantago; population dynamics; applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial diseases and parasites; plant pathology; fungal pathogens and diseases; plant science; biochemistry; molecular biology; plant/microbe interactions; plant science; plant pathology and symbioses; plant pathology; fungi - general;
Fields of Research : 06 Biological Sciences > 0605 Microbiology > 060503 Microbial Genetics
06 Biological Sciences > 0607 Plant Biology > 060704 Plant Pathology
06 Biological Sciences > 0605 Microbiology > 060505 Mycology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/mec.12908
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/31884

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