Host nutrient supply can mediate host–pathogen and pathogen–pathogen interactions. In terrestrial systems, plant nutrient supply is mediated by soil microbes, suggesting a potential role of soil microbes in plant diseases beyond soil-borne pathogens and induced plant defenses. Long-term nitrogen (N) enrichment can shift pathogenic and nonpathogenic soil microbial community composition and function, but it is unclear if these shifts affect plant–pathogen and pathogen–pathogen interactions. In a growth chamber experiment, we tested the effect of long-term N enrichment on infection by Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV-PAV) and Cereal Yellow Dwarf Virus (CYDV-RPV), aphid-vectored RNA viruses, in a grass host. We inoculated sterilized growing medium with soil collected from a long-term N enrichment experiment (ambient, low, and high N soil treatments) to isolate effects mediated by the soil microbial community. We crossed soil treatments with a N supply treatment (low, high) and virus inoculation treatment (mock-, singly-, and co-inoculated) to evaluate the effects of long-term N enrichment on plant–pathogen and pathogen–pathogen interactions, as mediated by N availability. We measured the proportion of plants infected (i.e., incidence), plant biomass, and leaf chlorophyll content. BYDV-PAV incidence (0.96) declined with low N soil (to 0.46), high N supply (to 0.61), and co-inoculation (to 0.32). Low N soil mediated the effect of N supply on BYDV-PAV: instead of N supply reducing BYDV-PAV incidence, the incidence increased. Additionally, ambient and low N soil ameliorated the negative effect of co-inoculation on BYDV-PAV incidence. BYDV-PAV infection only reduced chlorophyll when plants were grown with low N supply and ambient N soil. There were no significant effects of long-term N soil on CYDV-RPV incidence. Soil inoculant with different levels of long-term N enrichment had different effects on host–pathogen and pathogen–pathogen interactions, suggesting that shifts in soil microbial communities with long-term N enrichment may mediate disease dynamics.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Missy Rudeen, Alexis Rogers, and Eric Lind for assistance with the experiment and Susan Canavan for assistance designing Figure 1 . This work was supported by the NSF program in Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (grant DEB‐1015805). This work also was supported by grants from the US National Science Foundation Long‐Term Ecological Research Program (LTER) including DEB‐1234162 and DEB‐1831944. Further support was provided by the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve and the University of Minnesota.
We thank Missy Rudeen, Alexis Rogers, and Eric Lind for assistance with the experiment and Susan Canavan for assistance designing Figure 1. This work was supported by the NSF program in Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (grant DEB-1015805). This work also was supported by grants from the US National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research Program (LTER) including DEB-1234162 and DEB-1831944. Further support was provided by the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve and the University of Minnesota.
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