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The quasi-universality of nestedness in the structure of quantitative plant-parasite interactions

Abstract : Understanding the relationships between host range and pathogenicity for parasites, and between the efficiency and scope of immunity for hosts are essential to implement efficient disease control strategies. In the case of plant parasites, most studies have focused on describing qualitative interactions and a variety of genetic and evolutionary models has been proposed in this context. Although plant quantitative resistance benefits from advantages in terms of durability, we presently lack models that account for quantitative interactions between plants and their parasites and the evolution of these interactions. Nestedness and modularity are important features to unravel the overall structure of host-parasite interaction matrices. Here, we analysed these two features on 32 matrices of quantitative pathogenicity trait data gathered from 15 plant-parasite pathosystems consisting of either annual or perennial plants along with fungi or oomycetes, bacteria, nematodes, insects and viruses. The performance of several nestedness and modularity algorithms was evaluated through a simulation approach, which helped interpretation of the results. We observed significant modularity in only six of the 32 matrices, with two or three modules detected. For three of these matrices, modules could be related to resistance quantitative trait loci present in the host. In contrast, we found high and significant nestedness in 30 of the 32 matrices. Nestedness was linked to other properties of plant-parasite interactions. First, pathogenicity trait values were explained in majority by a parasite strain effect and a plant accession effect, with no parasite-plant interaction term. Second, correlations between the efficiency and scope of the resistance of plant genotypes, and between the host range breadth and pathogenicity level of parasite strains were overall positive. This latter result questions the efficiency of strategies based on the deployment of several genetically-differentiated cultivars of a given crop species in the case of quantitative plant immunity.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03169796
Contributor : Veronique Decognet <>
Submitted on : Monday, March 15, 2021 - 4:31:08 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 2:57:32 PM

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Benoît Moury, Jean-Marc Audergon, Sylvie Baudracco-Arnas, Safa Ben Krima, François Bertrand, et al.. The quasi-universality of nestedness in the structure of quantitative plant-parasite interactions. 2021. ⟨hal-03169796⟩

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