The effect of mating system on growth of Arabidopsis lyrata in response to inoculation with the biotrophic parasite Albugo candida

PN Hoebe, M Stift, EB Holub, BK Mable

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The effects of variation in host reproductive systems on response to pathogens are not well understood. We inoculated individuals from outcrossing and inbreeding populations of North American Arabidopsis lyrata with Albugo candida (white blister rust) to test the effect of mating system and heterozygosity on disease response. We observed three host infection phenotypes, classified as fully resistant, partially resistant and fully susceptible. Overall, inbreeding populations had more susceptible and fewer partially resistant individuals than outcrossing populations, but the highest proportion of resistant individuals was found in two of the inbreeding populations. Mating system did not affect relative growth rate of inoculated plants, but there were strong effects of population and infection phenotype. We conclude that mating system per se does not determine the resistance of natural A. lyrata populations to infection by Albugo, but that the increased variability in responses among inbreeding populations may be due to reduced effective population size.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391 - 401
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusFirst published - 2010


Bibliographical note



  • Albugo candida
  • Arabidopsis lyrata
  • Genetic drift
  • Heterozygosity
  • Mating systems
  • Outcrossing rates
  • Pathogen susceptibility

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