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Data from: Parasites and competitors suppress bacterial pathogen synergistically due to evolutionary trade-offs

Citation

Wang, XiaoFang et al. (2016), Data from: Parasites and competitors suppress bacterial pathogen synergistically due to evolutionary trade-offs, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m009s

Abstract

Parasites and competitors are important for regulating pathogen densities and subsequent disease dynamics. It is, however, unclear to what extent this is driven by ecological and evolutionary processes. Here we used experimental evolution to study the eco-evolutionary feedbacks between Ralstonia solanacearum bacterial pathogen, Ralstonia-specific phage parasite and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens competitor bacterium in the laboratory and plant rhizosphere. We found that while the phage had a small effect on pathogen densities on its own, it considerably increased the R. solanacearum sensitivity to antibiotics produced by B. amyloliquefaciens. Instead of density effects, this synergy was due to phage-driven increase in phage resistance that led to trade-off with the resistance to B. amyloliquefaciens antibiotics. While no evidence was found for pathogen resistance evolution to B. amyloliquefaciens antibiotics, the fitness cost of adaptation (reduced growth) was highest when the pathogen had evolved in the presence of both parasite and competitor. Qualitatively similar patterns were found between laboratory and greenhouse experiments even though the evolution of phage resistance was considerably attenuated in the tomato rhizosphere. These results suggest that evolutionary trade-offs can impose strong constraints on disease dynamics and that combining phages and antibiotic-producing bacteria could be an efficient way to control agricultural pathogens.

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