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Isolating fungal pathogens from a dynamic disease outbreak in a native plant population to establish plant-pathogen bioassays for the ecological model plant Nicotiana attenuata



Isolating fungal pathogens from a dynamic disease outbreak in a native plant population to establish plant-pathogen bioassays for the ecological model plant Nicotiana attenuata



Plos One 9(7): E102915-E102915



The wild tobacco species Nicotiana attenuata has been intensively used as a model plant to study its interaction with insect herbivores and pollinators in nature, however very little is known about its native pathogen community. We describe a fungal disease outbreak in a native N. attenuata population comprising 873 plants growing in an area of about 1500 m2. The population was divided into 14 subpopulations and disease symptom development in the subpopulations was monitored for 16 days, revealing a waxing and waning of visible disease symptoms with some diseased plants recovering fully. Native fungal N. attenuata pathogens were isolated from diseased plants, characterized genetically, chemotaxonomically and morphologically, revealing several isolates of the ascomycete genera Fusarium and Alternaria, that differed in the type and strength of the disease symptoms they caused in bioassays on either detached leaves or intact soil-grown plants. These isolates and the bioassays will empower the study of N. attenuata-pathogen interactions in a realistic ecological context.

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Accession: 054010808

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PMID: 25036191

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102915



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