Strain Diversity and Spatial Distribution Are Linked to Epidemic Dynamics in Host Populations*

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Eck , J L , Barrès , B , Soubeyrand , S , Siren , J , Numminen , E & Laine , A-L 2022 , ' Strain Diversity and Spatial Distribution Are Linked to Epidemic Dynamics in Host Populations* ' , American Naturalist , vol. 199 , no. 1 , pp. 59-74 .

Title: Strain Diversity and Spatial Distribution Are Linked to Epidemic Dynamics in Host Populations*
Author: Eck, Jenalle L.; Barrès, Benoit; Soubeyrand, Samuel; Siren, Jukka; Numminen, Elina; Laine, Anna-Liisa
Contributor organization: Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme
Environmental and Ecological Statistics Group
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Viikki Plant Science Centre (ViPS)
Date: 2022-01-01
Language: eng
Number of pages: 16
Belongs to series: American Naturalist
ISSN: 0003-0147
Abstract: The inherently variable nature of epidemics renders predictions of when and where infection is expected to occur challenging. Differences in pathogen strain composition, diversity, fitness, and spatial distribution are generally ignored in epidemiological modeling and are rarely studied in natural populations, yet they may be important drivers of epidemic trajectories. To examine how these factors are linked to epidemics in natural host populations, we collected epidemiological and genetic data from 15 populations of the powdery mildew fungus, Podosphaera plantaginis, on Plantago lanceolata in the angstrom land Islands, Finland. In each population, we tracked spatiotemporal disease progression throughout one epidemic season and coupled our survey of infection with intensive field sampling of the pathogen. We found that strain composition varied greatly among populations in the landscape. Within populations, strain composition was driven by the sequence of strain activity: early-active strains reached higher abundances, leading to consistent strain compositions over time. Co-occurring strains also varied in their contribution to the growth of the local epidemic, and these fitness inequalities were linked to epidemic dynamics: a higher proportion of hosts became infected in populations containing strains that were more similar in fitness. Epidemic trajectories in the populations were also linked to strain diversity and spatial dynamics: higher infection rates occurred in populations containing higher strain diversity, while spatially clustered epidemics experienced lower infection rates. Together, our results suggest that spatial and/or temporal variation in the strain composition, diversity, and fitness of pathogen populations are important factors generating variation in epidemiological trajectories among infected host populations.
Subject: pathogen diversity
strain composition
plant disease
disease epidemic
Plantago lanceolata
powdery mildew
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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