Evol Ecol Res 10: 913-924 (2008)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Trade-off between latent period and transmission success of a plant pathogen revealed by phenotypic correlations

Virginie Héraudet, Lucie Salvaudon* and Jacqui A. Shykoff

Laboratoire Ecologie Systématique et Evolution, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France

Correspondence: V. Héraudet, Laboratoire Ecologie Systématique et Evolution, Université Paris-Sud, UMR 8079, Orsay cedex 91405, France.
e-mail: virginie.heraudet@u-psud.fr


Questions: Can trade-offs and genotype–environment interactions maintain variability for fitness-related life-history traits?

Hypothesis: Transmission success, the equivalent of fecundity, is traded off against minimizing the latent period, the equivalent of age at maturity.

Organisms: The non-lethal parasite Hyaloperonospora arabidopsis (= Hyaloperonospora parasitica) and its host plant Arabidopsis thaliana.

Methods: We measured the latent period, transmission success, and host seed production of all combinations of infections between three parasite strains and three host lines, allowing us to calculate phenotypic correlations between these parasite traits and determine the relationship between host and parasite traits.

Conclusions: Infected plants that sporulated more rapidly (short latent period) transmitted their parasites less well, revealing a phenotypic trade-off between these important parasite life-history traits. This phenotypic trade-off may help to explain why the latent period remains variable in nature and has not achieved a uniformly minimal value.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana, genotype–environment interactions, host–parasite interactions, Hyaloperonospora arabidopsis, Hyaloperonospora parasitica, Peronospora, phenotypic trade-off.

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