Article phytopathogènes

Monitoring the phenology of plant pathogenic fungi: why and how?


Chloé E. L. Delmas , Marie-Odile Bancal , Christel Leyronas , Marie-Hélène Robin , Tiphaine Vidal and Marie Launay


Phenology is a key adaptive trait of organisms, shaping biotic interactions in response to the environment. It has emerged as a critical topic with implications for societal and economic concerns due to the effects of climate change on species' phenological patterns. Fungi play essential roles in ecosystems, and plant pathogenic fungi have significant impacts on global food security. However, the phenology of plant pathogenic fungi, which form a huge and diverse clade of organisms, has received limited attention in the literature. This diversity may have limited the use of a common language for comparisons and the integration of phenological data for these taxonomic groups. Here, we delve into the concept of ‘phenology’ as applied to plant pathogenic fungi and explore the potential drivers of their phenology, including environmental factors and the host plant. We present the PhenoFun scale, a phenological scoring system suitable for use with all fungi and fungus-like plant pathogens. It offers a standardised and common tool for scientists studying the presence, absence, or predominance of a particular phase, the speed of phenological phase succession, and the synchronism shift between pathogenic fungi and their host plants, across a wide range of environments and ecosystems. The application of the concept of ‘phenology’ to plant pathogenic fungi and the use of a phenological scoring system involves focusing on the interacting processes between the pathogenic fungi, their hosts, and their biological, physical, and chemical environment, occurring during the life cycle of the pathogen. The goal is to deconstruct the processes involved according to a pattern orchestrated by the fungus's phenology. Such an approach will improve our understanding of the ecology and evolution of such organisms, help to understand and anticipate plant disease epidemics and their future evolution, and make it possible to optimise management models, and to encourage the adoption of cropping practices designed from this phenological perspective.

Date de modification : 12 février 2024 | Date de création : 01 février 2024 | Rédaction : SF