Evolution of host range in Coleosporium ipomoeae, a plant pathogen with multiple hosts
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Plants and their pathogens coevolve locally. Previous investigations of one host-one pathogen systems have demonstrated that natural selection favors pathogen genotypes that are virulent on a broad range of host genotypes. In the present study, we examine a system consisting of one pathogen species that infects three host species in the morning glory genus Ipomoea. We show that many pathogen genotypes can infect two or three of the host species when tested on plants from nonlocal communities. By contrast, pathogen genotypes are highly host-specific, infecting only one host species, when tested on host species from the local community. This pattern indicates that within-community evolution narrows the host breadth of pathogen genotypes. Possible evolutionary mechanisms include direct selection for narrow host breadth due to costs of virulence and evolution of ipomoea resistance in the host species.
author list (cited authors)
Chappell, T. M., & Rausher, M. D.