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Optimal resource allocation for biotrophic plant pathogens

Ivan Yegorov 1, 2 Frédéric Grognard 1, 2 Ludovic Mailleret 1, 3, 2 Fabien Halkett 4
1 BIOCORE - Biological control of artificial ecosystems
INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, CRISAM - Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée , LOV - Laboratoire d'océanographie de Villefranche
Abstract : A significant class of plant pathogens is constituted by biotrophic fungi. They set up long-term feeding relationships with their hosts. This kind of parasitism decreases competitive abilities of plants in natural environments and reduces yields in agricultural systems. Therefore, it is relevant to develop and validate mathematical models which can help to better understand how related disease associated traits evolve. In this paper, one-season dynamics of a within-host cohort of spore-producing biotrophic fungi is considered. Their within-host multiplication and outer transmission are implemented by the mycelial growth and free-living (spore) forms, respectively. We state and investigate a specific dynamic optimization problem in order to determine how the fungi allocate available host resources between mycelial growth and spore production. The pathogen fitness criterion is introduced as maximization of the reproductive output. The constructed optimal feedback strategy can serve as a benchmark to compare actual infection mechanisms. There is a singular control subregime which plays an important role from the biological point of view. It keeps the average mycelium size equal to a particular steady value and represents an intermediate configuration of the resource allocation. We also analyze the asymptotic behavior of this steady state when the lesion density is large.
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Ivan Yegorov, Frédéric Grognard, Ludovic Mailleret, Fabien Halkett. Optimal resource allocation for biotrophic plant pathogens. IFAC 2017 - 20th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control, International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC). AUT., Jul 2017, Toulouse, France. pp.1-6, ⟨10.1016/j.ifacol.2017.08.328⟩. ⟨hal-01572090⟩

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