Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pathogen strains competing for the same host plant change disease dynamics

08.01.2015

The epidemics caused by coinfection of several pathogen strains in a plant population is more severe than epidemics caused by single strains.

A plant individual may be simultaneously infected by several pathogen strains, each aiming for optimal survival and reproduction. This competition may come at the cost of the well being of the host as higher host exploitation rates may increase host mortality.

However, killing the host should not be in the interest of the pathogen that requires living host tissue for survival.

Academy Research Fellow Anna-Liisa Laine working at the University of Helsinki has an explanation for this puzzling phenomenon. "Rapid host exploitation rates may be favored under coinfection where the strains are competing for the same limited resources. Strains that are playing fair lose to those most quickly exhaust the host," she says.

Anna-Liisa Laine and her research group have been studying the interaction between host plant ribwort plantain, Plantago lanceolata, and its powdery mildew pathogen across hundreds of populations. They've discovered that coinfection by several strains of the same host plant are common in the wild with more than half of the pathogen populations supporting coinfection.

Experimental work coupled with field surveys of infection show that those host populations supporting coinfection suffer more severe epidemics than those where a single pathogen strain is present. A spore trapping experiment confirmed that the change in epidemiological dynamics is explained by higher spore production rate under coinfection.

These results confirm classic predictions of how infection dynamics can fundamentally change under coinfection. The study also highlights how important it is to account for coinfection - which can be spatially and temporally variable - when designing disease prevention efforts.

"Here we find that coinfection by different strains of the same pathogen species completely change infection dynamics. These results are really just scraping the surface of how complex infection dynamics can be under coinfection. In our current work we've discovered that ribwort plantain populations in Finland contain hundreds of viruses. We're now measuring how this within host disease community affects infection dynamics for a wide range of pathogen species," says Anna-Liisa Laine.

Anna-Liisa Laine | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.helsinki.fi/university/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ceramic technologies for highly efficient power-to-X processes
10.10.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Keramische Technologien und Systeme IKTS

nachricht Growing and moving
10.10.2019 | University of Freiburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Controlling superconducting regions within an exotic metal

Superconductivity has fascinated scientists for many years since it offers the potential to revolutionize current technologies. Materials only become superconductors - meaning that electrons can travel in them with no resistance - at very low temperatures. These days, this unique zero resistance superconductivity is commonly found in a number of technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Future technologies, however, will harness the total synchrony of electronic behavior in superconductors - a property called the phase. There is currently a...

Im Focus: How Do the Strongest Magnets in the Universe Form?

How do some neutron stars become the strongest magnets in the Universe? A German-British team of astrophysicists has found a possible answer to the question of how these so-called magnetars form. Researchers from Heidelberg, Garching, and Oxford used large computer simulations to demonstrate how the merger of two stars creates strong magnetic fields. If such stars explode in supernovae, magnetars could result.

How Do the Strongest Magnets in the Universe Form?

Im Focus: Liquifying a rocky exoplanet

A hot, molten Earth would be around 5% larger than its solid counterpart. This is the result of a study led by researchers at the University of Bern. The difference between molten and solid rocky planets is important for the search of Earth-like worlds beyond our Solar System and the understanding of Earth itself.

Rocky exoplanets that are around Earth-size are comparatively small, which makes them incredibly difficult to detect and characterise using telescopes. What...

Im Focus: Axion particle spotted in solid-state crystal

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids in Dresden, Princeton University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have spotted a famously elusive particle: The axion – first predicted 42 years ago as an elementary particle in extensions of the standard model of particle physics.

The team found signatures of axion particles composed of Weyl-type electrons (Weyl fermions) in the correlated Weyl semimetal (TaSe₄)₂I. At room temperature,...

Im Focus: A cosmic pretzel

Twin baby stars grow amongst a twisting network of gas and dust

The two baby stars were found in the [BHB2007] 11 system - the youngest member of a small stellar cluster in the Barnard 59 dark nebula, which is part of the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

NEXUS 2020: Relationships Between Architecture and Mathematics

02.10.2019 | Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrochemistry to benefit photonics: Nanotubes can control laser pulses

11.10.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologically inspired skin improves robots' sensory abilities (Video)

11.10.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New electrolyte stops rapid performance decline of next-generation lithium battery

11.10.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>