The invasion and exclusion abilities of coexisting Pseudomonas syringae strains were quantified on leaves. Twenty-nine P. syringae strains were inoculated onto plants in 107 pairwise combinations. All pairs were duplicated so that each strain was inoculated both first as an antagonist strain (day 0) and second as a challenge strain (day 3). The population size of each strain in a mixture was quantified on day 6 following incubation under moist conditions. For P. syringae strains, the presence of an established population often significantly reduced the growth of subsequently arriving challenge strains on the leaf surface. Invasion and exclusion abilities, quantified by contrasting population sizes of challenge strains in the presence and in the absence of another strain, varied significantly among P. syringae strains and were partly a function of the particular strain pair. The population size of a strain when present alone on a leaf was not predictive of invasion or exclusion ability. Successful invaders were significantly less likely to exclude challenge populations than were nonsuccessful invaders. Population sizes of successful excluders were negatively correlated with population sizes of coexisting challenge strains, while population sizes of successful invaders were positively correlated with those of coexisting antagonist strains. The patterns of interaction among coexisting strains suggest mechanisms for successful invasion and exclusion among P. syringae strains on leaves
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