ENVIRONMENT CHANGES EVERYTHING: AN OVERVIEW OF DISEASE IN THE REAL WORLD
Department of Biological Sciences, IENS, Lancaster University, LA1 4YQ, UK
Background and objectives
The programme highlights major components of the abiotic environment, temperature, light, water and nutrients. However, the effects of these are integrated in planta through effects on photosynthesis and, thus, the growth of biomass. There is uncertainty about the extent to which pathogens have effects beyond the areas they colonize. There remains much to be learned about the effects of pathogens on the partitioning of biomass to those organs that facilitate survival during periods environmental stress (e.g. roots or seeds) and the possibility that effects arising during seasonal stress may differ from those occurring during cumulative or episodic stress.
In their potential interactions with plant pathogens, few components of the biotic environment have received much attention. An exception is the considerable interest of many researchers in the possibility of protecting crops against disease by pre-infecting them with avirulent or nonpathogenic types, but few have investigated the effects of multiple infections involving virulent pathogens. There is a small but growing body of evidence that endophytic or mycorrhizal infections can interfere with pathogenic infections.
Results and conclusions
Studies of the effects of ultraviolet B radiation on foliar diseases, such as Septoria on wheat, demonstrate that our ability to predict the impacts of climate change are all too often limited by our understanding of the effects of the current ranges of environmental variables on disease .