Effects of plant tissue permeability on invasion and population bottlenecks of a phytopathogen

Gaofei Jiang, Yuling Zhang, Min Chen, Josep Ramoneda, Liangliang Han, Yu Shi, Rémi Peyraud, Yikui Wang, Xiaojun Shi, Xinping Chen, Wei Ding, Alexandre Jousset, Yasufumi Hikichi, Kouhei Ohnishi, Fang Jie Zhao, Yangchun Xu, Qirong Shen, Francisco Dini-Andreote, Yong Zhang, Zhong Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pathogen genetic diversity varies in response to environmental changes. However, it remains unclear whether plant barriers to invasion could be considered a genetic bottleneck for phytopathogen populations. Here, we implement a barcoding approach to generate a pool of 90 isogenic and individually barcoded Ralstonia solanacearum strains. We used 90 of these strains to inoculate tomato plants with different degrees of physical permeability to invasion (intact roots, wounded roots and xylem inoculation) and quantify the phytopathogen population dynamics during invasion. Our results reveal that the permeability of plant roots impacts the degree of population bottleneck, genetic diversity, and composition of Ralstonia populations. We also find that selection is the main driver structuring pathogen populations when barriers to infection are less permeable, i.e., intact roots, the removal of root physical and immune barriers results in the predominance of stochasticity in population assembly. Taken together, our study suggests that plant root permeability constitutes a bottleneck for phytopathogen invasion and genetic diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number62
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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