1. Ecology
  2. Evolutionary Biology
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Reproduction: Parasites opt for the best of both worlds

  1. Ellen Decaestecker  Is a corresponding author
  2. Lore Bulteel
  1. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Kulak, Belgium
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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e49615 doi: 10.7554/eLife.49615
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A simplified life cycle of the fungus P. plantaginis.

The fungus P. plantaginis can reproduce both asexually (left) or sexually (right). Throughout the growing season P. plantaginis infects its host by asexually reproducing genetically identical clonal spores (represented by a dashed line). As the growing season of the host plant comes to an end, P. plantaginis produces a fruiting body known as chasmothecia, which contains resting spores that can survive the winter: these can either be reproduced asexually via process known as haploid selfing (left) or sexually via mating (right). When the next growing season starts, parasites can re-emerge from these resting spores and infect the host.

Image credit: Lore Bulteel (CC BY 4.0).

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