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Virulence and Multiple infections of Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis (Gäum.) Göker, Riethm., Voglmayr, Weiss & Oberw. on Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heyhn.

Abstract : Multiple infections are common in nature, and are considered very important in the evolution of parasite life-history traits. Theoretically, multiple infections should lead to evolution of higher levels of virulence both as an adaptive and as a plastic strategy. In this thesis I use Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis, a natural parasite of Arabidopsis thaliana, which has proven a useful tool for unlocking some evolutionary ecology questions, to investigate: i) multiple infections following co-inoculation and sequential inoculation, ii) number of infected plants, infection success and transmission success of individual strain (genotyping via PCR), and infection phenotypes including virulence between after single- and mixed inoculation, iii) effect of time lag of inoculation and order of inoculated strain on infection phenotypes and individual strain infection success. Here I found that sequential inoculation contributed higher frequency of co-infection than co-inoculation of the same strain combinations. Mixed inoculum of some strain combinations led to modification of overall infection phenotypes, often with poorer infection success of individual strains compared with that of the more infectious strains. This result implies interference between strains in mixed inoculum. Overall virulence of infection after mixed inoculation was not always higher than that of single strain infection. Furthermore the single strains used in these experiments did not always differ from each other in virulence. The one test of a three-strain mixture of genotypes caused higher overall virulence than the three respective single strain infections. Higher overall virulence in this case might be caused by plasticity of inoculated parasite strains reponse to the presence of other strains in mixed inoculum or an effect of multiple strains suppressing the host defence system. When strains were inoculated sequentially instead of together, infection success of individual strains differed between different orders of inoculation, which could be due to indirect effects via the host defence system. In summary, sequential inoculation seemed to reduce interference between parasite strains, with effect of time lag and order of inoculated strain on infection success of individual strains. Interference in mixed inoculum can generate different infection successs and infection phenotypes from the respective single inoculations. I found one clear case of higher overall virulence in infections caused by mixed inoculations. Thus higher overall virulence can occur despite our not finding higher performance of more virulent genotypes from infections following mixed inoculations. Thus these finding do not predict the evolution of higher virulence among these strain combinations tested. However, plasticity of phenotypes of inoculated strains in mixed inoculum did generate higher overall virulence of infection. These findings can help to understand how the parasite genotypes respond to in mixed infections.
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Shanerin Falab. Virulence and Multiple infections of Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis (Gäum.) Göker, Riethm., Voglmayr, Weiss & Oberw. on Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heyhn.. Parasitology. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLS246⟩. ⟨tel-02426013⟩

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