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Host-Pathogen Dynamics in Experimental Populations of Silene Alba and Ustilago Violacea. I. Ecological and Genetic Determinants of Disease Spread

Peter H. Thrall and Andrew M. Jarosz
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 82, No. 3 (Sep., 1994), pp. 549-559
DOI: 10.2307/2261263
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2261263
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Host-Pathogen Dynamics in Experimental Populations of Silene Alba and Ustilago Violacea. I. Ecological and Genetic Determinants of Disease Spread
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Abstract

1 To investigate the influence of within and among season factors on spread of anther-smut disease (Ustilago violacea), experimental populations of susceptible and resistant plants of (Silene alba) were established in a natural setting. 2 Frequency and density of diseased plants were both important predictors of percentage infection at the end of the growing season, but their relative importance varied across years. 3 Host families that were the progeny of relatively susceptible parents had consistently higher infection levels than families derived from more resistant parents. 4 Late flowering individuals or those producing fewer flowers were at lower risk of becoming infected. Male plants experienced a higher rate of infection because they initiated flowering earlier and produced more flowers than females. 5 There was greater over-wintering mortality of diseased plants than healthy plants in years when overall mortality was low but not in years in which mortality was high. 6 Host plants infected late in the season were more likely to recover than hosts infected early. 7 We conclude that detailed knowledge of within season environmental and genetic factors influencing disease spread does not adequately describe host-pathogen dynamics; epidemiological studies must also consider across season dynamic processes such as disease-induced mortality, host recovery, and recruitment.

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