For pathogens infecting single host species evolutionary trade-offs have previously been demonstrated between pathogen-induced mortality rates and transmission rates. It remains unclear, however, how such trade-offs impact sub-lethal pathogen-inflicted damage, and whether these trade-offs even occur in broad host-range pathogens. Here, we examine changes over the past 110 years in symptoms induced in maize by the broad host-range pathogen, maize streak virus (MSV). Specifically, we use the quantified symptom intensities of cloned MSV isolates in differentially resistant maize genotypes to phylogenetically infer ancestral symptom intensities and check for phylogenetic signal associated with these symptom intensities. We show that whereas symptoms reflecting harm to the host have remained constant or decreased, there has been an increase in how extensively MSV colonizes the cells upon which transmission vectors feed. This demonstrates an evolutionary trade-off between amounts of pathogen-inflicted harm and how effectively viruses position themselves within plants to enable onward transmission.
- Evolutionary trade-off
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)