Disease ecology and plant-microbe interactions

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Epilachna varivestis

It is increasingly clear that microbial symbionts often have profound effects on the phenotypes of their hosts, including both plants and animals. Through work in a variety of systems, we are exploring the role of chemical signaling in interactions between microbial mutualists and pathogens and their plant and animal hosts, as well as the potentially far-reaching implications of those associations for the hosts subsequent interactions with other organisms.

We are particularly interested in understanding whether and how vector-borne pathogens alter the phenotypes of their hosts in ways that influence the frequency and nature of interactions between hosts and vectors, including via the alteration of olfactory cues that mediate vector attraction. We are exploring this question through work on both plant and animal disease systems, including viral and bacterial plant pathogens and human malaria. This work has practical relevance both for the management of disease transmission and for disease diagnosis.

Selected publications:

De Moraes, C.M., Stanczyk, N.M., Betz, H.S., Pulido, H., Sim, D.G., Read, A.F., Mescher, M.C. (2014) Malaria-induced changes in host odors enhance mosquito attraction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111(30): 11079-11084.

Mauck KE, Smyers E, De Moraes CM, Mescher MC (2014) Virus infection influences host plant interactions with non-vector herbivores and predators. Functional Ecology accepted DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12371

Mauck, K.E., De Moraes, C.M., Mescher, M.C. (2014) Biochemical and physiological mechanisms underlying effects of Cucumber mosaic virus on host-plant traits that mediate transmission by aphid vectors. Plant, Cell & Environment 37(6): 1427-1439.

Shapiro, L.R., Salvaudon, L., Mauck, K.E., Pulido, H., De Moraes, C.M., Stephenson, A.G., Mescher, M.C. (2013) Disease interactions in a shared host plant: effects of pre-existing viral infection on cucurbit plant defense responses and resistance to bacterial wilt disease. PLoS One 8(10): e77393.

Salvaudon, L., De Moraes, C.M., Mescher, M.C. (2013) Outcomes of co-infection by two potyviruses: implications for the evolution of manipulative strategies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 280(1756): 20122959.

Salvaudon, L., De Moraes, C.M., Yang, J-Y., Chua N-H., Mescher, M.C. (2013) Effects of virus satellite gene ßC1 on host plant defense signaling and volatile emission. Plant Signaling & Behavior 8(3): e23317.

Shapiro, L., De Moraes, C.M., Stephenson, A.G., Mescher, M.C. (2012) Pathogen effects on vegetative and floral odours mediate vector attraction and host exposure in a complex pathosystem. Ecology Letters 15(12): 1430-1438.

Mauck KE, Bosque-Pérez NA, Eigenbrode SD, De Moraes CM, Mescher MC (2012) Transmission mechanisms shape pathogen effects on host-vector interactions: evidence from plant viruses. Functional Ecology 26(5): 1162-1175.

Tabata, J., De Moraes, C.M., Mescher, M.C. (2011) Olfactory cues from plants infected by powdery mildew guide foraging by a mycophagous ladybird beetle. PLoS One 6(8): e23799.

Mauck KE, De Moraes CM, Mescher M (2010) Deceptive chemical signals induced by a plant virus attract insect vectors to inferior hosts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107 (8): 3600-3605.

Dean, J.M., Mescher, M.C., De Moraes, C.M. (2009) Plant-rhizobia mutualism influences aphid abundance in soybean. Plant and Soil 323 (1-2): 187-196.

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Fri Jun 23 11:10:10 CEST 2017
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