Link to home

Cannot retrieve the URL specified in the Content Link property. For more assistance, contact your site administrator.

An unusual ménage à trois in the phyllosphere
Richard Bélanger: Université Laval; Joan Laur: Université Laval; Caroline Labbe: Université Laval; Gowsica Bojarajan Ramakrishnan: Université Laval; Pietro Spanu: Imperial College of Sci Tech & Medicine
<div>The phyllosphere harbors a complex microbial community in which fungi occupy a predominant space. In the course of evolution, all leaf surface fungi have acquired specific properties that enable them to compete and survive in this restricted ecological niche in spite of a scarcity of resources. While we, as scientists, have been trying to ascribe a certain hierarchy among the fungi inhabiting the phylloplane, it is nonetheless important to remember that in a balanced environment, each of these fungi manages successfully to acquire the resources necessary for its establishment and reproduction on the leaf surface. In the case of tritrophic interactions involving a biocontrol agent, a fungal pathogen and a plant, they have historically been analyzed solely from the perspective of the mode of action of the biocontrol agent. However, the tripartite association between Pseudozyma flocculosa, powdery mildews and the host plant has seemingly evolved from the conjugated action of the three protagonists. Recent evidence indicates that P. flocculosa can in fact modulate the virulence of powdery mildew fungi and divert the resources that the pathogen extracts from the plant for its own benefit. This intricate mode of action, described as hyperbiotrophy, causes a rapid collapse of the powdery mildew haustorium, which, in turn, leads to a premature death of the pathogen, and brings an end to the interaction.</div>

View Presentation