Data_Sheet_3_The Study of the Germination Dynamics of Plasmopara viticola Oospores Highlights the Presence of Phenotypic Synchrony With the Host.docx
The plant disease onset is a complex event that occurs when the pathogen and the host encounter in a favorable environment. While the plant–pathogen interaction has been much investigated, little attention has been given to the phenological synchrony of the event, especially when both plant and pathogen overwinter, as in the case of grapevines and the downy mildew agent, the oomycete Plasmopara viticola. Oospores allow this obligate parasite to survive grapevine dormancy and, germinating, produce inoculum for primary infections. During overwintering, environmental factors influence the potential oospore germination. This study aimed at investigating the existence of synchrony between the pathogen and the host by identifying and quantifying the most important factors determining oospore maturation and germination and the relationship existing with grapevine phenology. Generalized linear models (GLM and GLMM) were used to analyze the germination dynamics of the oospores overwintered in controlled and field conditions and incubated in isothermal conditions, and oospore viability tests were carried out at different time points. Results showed that the most indicative parameter to describe the germination dynamics is the time spent by the oospores from the start of overwintering. The oospores overwintered in field showed phenological traits related to grapevine phenology not observed in controlled conditions. In particular, they completed the maturation period by the end of grapevine dormancy and germinated more rapidly at plant sprouting, when grapevine reaches susceptibility. Overall, the oospores proved to be able to modulate their behavior in close relationship with grapevine, showing a great adaptation to the host’s phenology.