The relationship between Septoria tritici, a splash-dispersed disease, and its host is complex because of the interactions between the dynamic plant architecture and the vertical progress of the disease. Baccar et al. simulate epidemics in wheat (Triticum aestivum) using a 3-D model of wheat canopy coupled to a Septoria epidemic model and assess the results against epidemics monitored in the field at different plant densities. They show that predicted epidemics are similar to measured ones provided that plant-to-plant variability is taken into account, and thus that virtual plant–pathogen models can provide a useful tool for clarifying some of the complex interactions between plant architecture and the spread of disease.
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