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vol. 160, supplement the american naturalist october 2002 The Ecology and Genetics of a Host Shift
 

Summary: vol. 160, supplement the american naturalist october 2002
The Ecology and Genetics of a Host Shift:
Microbotryum as a Model System
Janis Antonovics,* Michael Hood, and Jessica Partain
Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville,
Virginia 22904
abstract: The need to prevent and cure emerging diseases often
precludes their continuing study in situ. We present studies on the
process of disease emergence by host shifts using the model system
of anther-smut disease (Microbotryum violaceum) on the plant genus
Silene (Caryophyllaceae). This system has little direct social impact,
and it is readily amenable to experimental manipulation. Our mi-
croevolutionary studies have focused on the host shift of Microbo-
tryum from Silene alba (platifolia; white campion) onto Silene vul-
garis (bladder campion) in a population in Virginia. Karyotypic
variation shows that the host shift is recent and originates from the
disease on sympatric S. alba. Analysis of the spatial pattern of disease
shows that the host shift has been contingent on the co-occurrence
of the two species at a local scale. Cross-inoculation studies show
that families of the new host differ greatly in their susceptibility to

  

Source: Antonovics, Janis - Department of Biology, University of Virginia

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine