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Evolution of Sibling Fungal Plant Pathogens in Relation to Host Specialization

July 2004 , Volume 94 , Number  7
Pages  789 - 795

I. Gudelj , B. D. L. Fitt , and F. van den Bosch

Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Herts AL5 2JQ, UK

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Accepted for publication 30 January 2004.

Sibling plant pathogens can be grouped according to their host rangesthe following groups: group 1, sibling pathogens with nonoverlapping host ranges; group 2, sibling pathogens with both overlapping and nonoverlapping host ranges; and group 3, sibling pathogens with overlapping host ranges. Using the adaptive dynamics methodology, we investigated the evolution of sibling pathogens in relation to host specialization for groups 1 to 3. In particular, we focused on the role of multiple host niches and a trade-off in infectivity of pathogens to these hosts on the evolutionary outcome. We have shown that this ecological mechanism can explain only the evolution of sibling pathogens in group 1 and that other ecological and epidemiological mechanisms must be responsible for the evolution of sibling pathogens in the other two groups.

Additional keywords: mathematical model, phenotype, simulation, trade-off relationship.

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society