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Mate limitation in fungal plant parasites can lead to cyclic epidemics in perennial host populations

Ravigné V., Lemesle V., Walter A., Mailleret L., Hamelin F.. 2017. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 79 (3) : p. 430-447.

Fungal plant parasites represent a growing concern for biodiversity and food security. Most ascomycete species are capable of producing different types of infectious spores both asexually and sexually. Yet the contributions of both types of spores to epidemiological dynamics have still to been fully researched. Here we studied the effect of mate limitation in parasites which perform both sexual and asexual reproduction in the same host. Since mate limitation implies positive density dependence at low population density, we modeled the dynamics of such species with both density-dependent (sexual) and density-independent (asexual) transmission rates. A first simple SIR model incorporating these two types of transmission from the infected compartment, suggested that combining sexual and asexual spore production can generate persistently cyclic epidemics in a significant part of the parameter space. It was then confirmed that cyclic persistence could occur in realistic situations by parameterizing a more detailed model fitting the biology of the Black Sigatoka disease of banana, for which literature data are available. We discuss the implications of these results for research on and management of Sigatoka diseases of banana. (Résumé d'auteur)

Thématique : Maladies des plantes

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