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Article

Weeds as Pathogen Hosts and Disease Risk for Crops in the Wake of a Reduced Use of Herbicides: Evidence from Yam (Dioscorea alata) Fields and Colletotrichum Pathogens in the Tropics

UR ASTRO, INRAE, F-97170 Petit-Bourg, Guadeloupe, France
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Academic Editor: Paloma Melgarejo
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040283
Received: 12 March 2021 / Revised: 6 April 2021 / Accepted: 8 April 2021 / Published: 9 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental and Ecological Interactions of Fungi)
The transition toward sustainable agriculture requires rethinking cropping systems in the light of less intensive and chemically reliant practices. Weed management is one of the target practices to evolve cropping systems with decreased impact on the environment. While softened management will lead to increased weeds/crops coexistence, it is of importance to assess the relative benefits and drawbacks of new practices. Among the potential drawbacks of weeds/crops coexistence, disease risk may increase if weeds are hosting pathogens. In this study, we assessed the potential of weeds for hosting pathogenic generalist fungi known to translate into disease in crops. We first describe prevalence in fields after harvest and relate prevalence to species characteristics and communities. Then, we directly test the idea that weeds serve as inoculums sources during cropping with a natural experiment. This study highlights variation in host skill among feral weeds for Colletotrichum species, including potential congeneric sub-specialization on different weeds within communities. Last, prevalence within fields was more correlated to focal crop inoculation rates compared to local weed load, but there was a significant correlation effect with prevalence on weeds in the vicinity of fields, suggesting that weeds are mediating disease levels at the local scale, too. Results pointed to the importance of weed host skill in disease risk yet open the door to the potential control of pathogens via targeted weed management. View Full-Text
Keywords: Colletotrichum gloeosporioides; anthracnose; Colletotrichum truncatum; crop disease; water yam; Dioscorea alata; weeds; selective weeding Colletotrichum gloeosporioides; anthracnose; Colletotrichum truncatum; crop disease; water yam; Dioscorea alata; weeds; selective weeding
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dentika, P.; Ozier-Lafontaine, H.; Penet, L. Weeds as Pathogen Hosts and Disease Risk for Crops in the Wake of a Reduced Use of Herbicides: Evidence from Yam (Dioscorea alata) Fields and Colletotrichum Pathogens in the Tropics. J. Fungi 2021, 7, 283. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040283

AMA Style

Dentika P, Ozier-Lafontaine H, Penet L. Weeds as Pathogen Hosts and Disease Risk for Crops in the Wake of a Reduced Use of Herbicides: Evidence from Yam (Dioscorea alata) Fields and Colletotrichum Pathogens in the Tropics. Journal of Fungi. 2021; 7(4):283. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040283

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dentika, Pauline, Harry Ozier-Lafontaine, and Laurent Penet. 2021. "Weeds as Pathogen Hosts and Disease Risk for Crops in the Wake of a Reduced Use of Herbicides: Evidence from Yam (Dioscorea alata) Fields and Colletotrichum Pathogens in the Tropics" Journal of Fungi 7, no. 4: 283. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040283

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