Spatial Epidemiology of a Vector-Borne Plant Virus: interactions between landscape,hosts,vectors and an emerging disease of potatoes

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Spatial Epidemiology of a Vector-Borne Plant Virus: interactions between landscape,hosts,vectors and an emerging disease of potatoes

The overarching goal of this proposal is to identify ecological factors that allow new emerging viruses to predominate in host communities. Potato virus Y (PVY), which is show the emergence of new recombinant strains, will be used as an example. To do this, the participants will evaluate the influence of landscape structure, vector community composition, transmission dynamics, within-host processes, and virus recombination on the emergence and spread of new aphid-borne viruses in the potato virus Y complex. The UK participants will study physiological and epidemiological aspects of the phenomenon of mature plant resistance (MPR) in potatoes, whereby it becomes increasingly difficult for acquired virus to reach tubers and hence affect seed crop quality. St Andrews/JHI will quantify the progress of MPR development with time/crop growth stage and attempt to develop a diagnostic test for the extent of MPR, which varies with cultivar as well as growth stage. Rothamsted's role is to provide aphid data to be used in conjunction with any available virus data (not Rothamsted's responsibility) to develop indices of risk to potato crops from PVY that take account of MPR. The Americans will develop similar models using their own aphid and virus data and will be sent our aphid data so that they can compare the models and assess the implications of any apparent differences on each side of the Atlantic.

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