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Journal Articles Biology Year : 2022

Vectors as Sentinels: Rising Temperatures Increase the Risk of Xylella fastidiosa Outbreaks

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Abstract

Simple Summary Although global change is expected to modify the threat posed by plant pathogens, not much is known about how a changing climate will affect the epidemiology of generalist vector-borne diseases. In the present study, we developed a high-throughput screening method to test for the presence of a deadly plant pathogen, Xylella fastidiosa, in its insect vectors. Based on a four-year survey in climatically distinct areas of the island of Corsica (France), we found a significant positive correlation between the frequency of insect vectors positive for X. fastidiosa and temperature. We observed that a higher prevalence in insects corresponded with milder winters. We used future climate projections up to the year 2100, and found that the risk for X. fastidiosa outbreak will increase in the future. While the proportion of vectors that carry the pathogen should increase, the climate conditions will remain suitable for the bacterium and its main vector, with possible shifts towards higher elevations. Besides calling for research efforts to limit the incidence of plant diseases in temperate zones, this works reveals that recent molecular technologies could and should be used for massive screening of pathogens in vectors in order to scale-up surveillance and management efforts. Abstract Global change is expected to modify the threat posed by pathogens to plants. However, little is known regarding how a changing climate will influence the epidemiology of generalist vector-borne diseases. We developed a high-throughput screening method to test for the presence of a deadly plant pathogen, Xylella fastidiosa, in its insect vectors. Then, using data from a four-year survey in climatically distinct areas of Corsica (France), we demonstrated a positive correlation between the proportion of vectors positive to X. fastidiosa and temperature. Notably, a higher prevalence corresponded with milder winters. Our projections up to 2100 indicate an increased risk of outbreaks. While the proportion of vectors that carry the pathogen should increase, the climate conditions will remain suitable for the bacterium and its main vector, with possible range shifts towards a higher elevation. Besides calling for research efforts to limit the incidence of plant diseases in the temperate zone, this work reveals that recent molecular technologies could and should be used for massive screening of pathogens in vectors to scale-up surveillance and management efforts.
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hal-03814144 , version 1 (13-10-2022)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives - CC BY 4.0

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Pauline Farigoule, Marguerite Chartois, Xavier Mesmin, Maxime Lambert, Jean-Pierre Rossi, et al.. Vectors as Sentinels: Rising Temperatures Increase the Risk of Xylella fastidiosa Outbreaks. Biology, 2022, 11 (9), pp.1299. ⟨10.3390/biology11091299⟩. ⟨hal-03814144⟩
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