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Environmental nutrient supply alters prevalence and weakens competitive interactions among coinfecting viruses

Abstract : The rates and ratios of environmental nutrient supplies can determine plant community composition. However, the effect of nutrient supplies on within-host microbial interactions is poorly understood. Resource competition is a promising theory for understanding microbial interactions, because microparasites require nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) for synthesis of macromolecules such as nucleic acids and proteins. To better understand the effects of nutrient supplies to hosts on pathogen interactions, we singly inoculated and coinoculated Avena sativa with two virus species, barley yellow dwarf virus-PAV (BYDV-PAV) and cereal yellow dwarf virus-RPV (CYDV-RPV). Host plants were grown across a factorial combination of N and P supply rates that created a gradient of N:P supply ratios, one being replicated at low and high nutrient supply. Nutrient supply affected prevalence and the interaction strength among viruses. P addition lowered CYDV-RPV prevalence. The two viruses had a distinct competitive hierarchy: the coinoculation of BYDV-PAV lowered CYDV-RPV infection rate, but the reverse was not true. This antagonistic interaction occurred at low nutrient supply rates and disappeared at high N supply rate. Given the global scale of human alterations of N and P cycles, these results suggest that elevated nutrient supply will increase risks of virus coinfection with likely effects on virus epidemiology, virulence and evolution.
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Christelle Lacroix, Eric W. Seabloom, Elizabeth T. Borer. Environmental nutrient supply alters prevalence and weakens competitive interactions among coinfecting viruses. New Phytologist, Wiley, 2014, 204 (2), pp.424 - 433. ⟨10.1111/nph.12909⟩. ⟨hal-02633999⟩



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