Network Analysis: A Systems Framework to Address Grand Challenges in Plant Pathology
Annual Review of Phytopathology

2018 - Vol. 56 - pag. 559-580
Authors: K.A. Garrett, R.I. Alcalá-Briseño, K.F. Andersen, C.E. Buddenhagen, R.A. Choudhury, J.C. Fulton, J.F. Hernandez Nopsa, R. Poudel and Y. Xing

Plant pathology must address a number of challenges, most of which are characterized by complexity. Network analysis offers useful tools for addressing complex systems and an opportunity for synthesis within plant pathology and between it and relevant disciplines such as in the social sciences. We discuss applications of network analysis, which ultimately may be integrated together into more synthetic analyses of how to optimize plant disease management systems. The analysis of microbiome networks and tripartite phytobiome networks of host-vector-pathogen interactions offers promise for identifying biocontrol strategies and anticipating disease emergence. Linking epidemic network analysis with social network analysis will support strategies for sustainable agricultural development and for scaling up solutions for disease management. Statistical tools for evaluating networks, such as Bayesian network analysis and exponential random graph models, have been underused in plant pathology and are promising for informing strategies. We conclude with research priorities for network analysis applications in plant pathology.