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Interconnected Lifecycles: Multitrophic interactions between plants, pathogens, and insects
D. ROTENBERG (1). (1) Kansas State University, Dept Plant Pathology, Manhattan, KS, U.S.A.

A diverse array of pathogens are transmitted to plants by insect vectors. Many of the pathogens that impact agricultural and natural ecosystems are associated with insects, increasing the need to understand the myriad relationships between these biotic stressors and their shared plant hosts. Teasing apart these relationships has revealed both direct and indirect effects of the pathogen on the vector. For example, infection of a plant can result in differential attraction to and dispersal from plants and can have significant effects on insect performance. In turn, the pathogen is reliant on the vector for dispersal to and establishment on the plant host. Plant nutritional quality and volatiles have been identified as chemical factors associated with indirect effects on insect vectors. Recently, the application of systems-level approaches has enabled dissection of the interactions of the partners at the molecular level and an emerging theme is that host defense response modulates the interactions between vector and pathogen. Additionally, ecological-level research is advancing rapidly due to improved technologies for chemical ecology and epidemiological studies at the plant, field, and landscape level. This symposium highlights some of the most important viral and bacterial pathosystems at the ecological and molecular-levels and will identify new research fronts to advance the field.

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