Evolution of sibling fungal plant pathogens in relation to host specialization
Fitt, Bruce D.L.
Van den Bosch, F.
Sibling plant pathogens can be grouped according to their host ranges into the following groups: group 1, sibling pathogens with nonoverlapping host ranges; group 2, sibling pathogens with both overlapping and nonoverlapping host ranges; and group 3, sibling pathogens with overlapping host ranges. Using the adaptive dynamics methodology, we investigated the evolution of sibling pathogens in relation to host specialization for groups 1 to 3. In particular, we focused on the role of multiple host niches and a trade-off in infectivity of pathogens to these hosts on the evolutionary outcome. We have shown that this ecological mechanism can explain only the evolution of sibling pathogens in group 1 and that other ecological and epidemiological mechanisms must be responsible for the evolution of sibling pathogens in the other two groups.