Annual Review of Phytopathology (2015) 53, 19-43
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Playing on a pathogen's weakness: Using evolution to guide sustainable plant disease control strategies
Annual Review of Phytopathology 53, 19-43
Abstract: Wild plants and their associated pathogens are involved in ongoing interactions over millennia that have been modified by coevolutionary processes to limit the spatial extent and temporal duration of disease epidemics. These interactions are disrupted by modern agricultural practices and social activities, such as intensified monoculture using superior varieties and international trading of agricultural commodities. These activities, when supplemented with high resource inputs and the broad application of agrochemicals, create conditions uniquely conducive to widespread plant disease epidemics and rapid pathogen evolution. To be effective and durable, sustainable disease management requires a significant shift in emphasis to overtly include ecoevolutionary principles in the design of adaptive management programs aimed at minimizing the evolutionary potential of plant pathogens by reducing their genetic variation, stabilizing their evolutionary dynamics, and preventing dissemination of pathogen variants carrying new infectivity or resistance to agrochemicals.
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