In addition to being one of the most acute problems impeding chemical control of fungal diseases, the evolution of fungicide resistance is an emblematic case of local adaptation to spatially heterogeneous and temporally variable selection pressures. Here we dissected the adaptation of Botrytis cinerea (the causal agent of grey mould) populations on grapes to several fungicides. We carried out a two-year survey (four collection dates) on three treated/untreated pairs of plots from vineyards in Champagne (France), and monitored the frequency of four resistant phenotypes that are unambiguously associated to four distinct genotypes. For two loci under selection by currently-used fungicides (MDR1 and MDR2), the frequencies of resistant mutations at vintage were greater in treated plots compared to untreated plots, showing that the effect of selection is detectable even at the plot scale. This effect was not detectable for two other loci under selection by previously-used fungicides (BenR1 and ImiR1). We also found that treatment with currently-used fungicides reduced B. cinerea effective population size, leading to a significant decrease in genic diversity and allelic richness in treated versus untreated plots. We further highlight that even under ample drift and migration, fungal populations can present an efficient response to selection. Finally, for the four studied loci, the costs of fungicide resistance were estimated by modelling the decrease in the frequency of resistant mutations in the absence of treatment. We discuss the importance of these estimates for defining strategies for limiting or counteracting the local adaptation of pests to fungicides.
Reference: Walker A. S., Ravigné V., Rieux A., Ali S., Carpentier F. and Fournier E. (2017). "Fungal adaptation to contemporary fungicide applications: the case of Botrytis cinerea populations from Champagne vineyards (France)." Molecular Ecology. doi:10.1111/mec.14072