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Virus adaptation to quantitative plant resistance: erosion or breakdown?

Abstract : Adaptation of populations to new environments is frequently costly due to trade-offs between life history traits, and consequently, parasites are expected to be locally adapted to sympatric hosts. Also, during adaptation to the host, an increase in parasite fitness could have direct consequences on its aggressiveness (i.e. the quantity of damages caused to the host by the virus). These two phenomena have been observed in the context of pathogen adaptation to host's qualitative and monogenic resistances. However, the ability of pathogens to adapt to quantitative polygenic plant resistances and the consequences of these potential adaptations on other pathogen life history traits remain to be evaluated. Potato virus Y and two pepper genotypes (one susceptible and one with quantitative resistance) were used, and experimental evolutions showed that adaptation to a quantitative resistance was possible and resulted in resistance breakdown. This adaptation was associated to a fitness cost on the susceptible cultivar, but had no consequence either in terms of aggressiveness, which could be explained by a high tolerance level, or in terms of aphid transmission efficiency. We concluded that quantitative resistances are not necessarily durable but management strategies mixing susceptible and resistant cultivars in space and/or in time should be useful to preserve their efficiency.
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Josselin Montarry, Elodie Cartier, Mireille Jacquemond, Alain Palloix, Benoit Moury. Virus adaptation to quantitative plant resistance: erosion or breakdown?. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Wiley, 2012, 25 (11), pp.2242-2252. ⟨10.1111/j.1420-9101.2012.02600.x⟩. ⟨hal-01208594⟩



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