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Journal Articles Bulletin of Mathematical Biology Year : 2021

Optimal Control of Plant Disease Epidemics with Clean Seed Usage


The distribution and use of pathogen-free planting material (“clean seeds”) is a promising method to control plant diseases in developing countries. We address the question of minimizing disease prevalence in plants through the optimal usage of clean seeds. We consider the simplest possible S–I model together with a simple economic criterion to be maximized. The static optimization problem shows a diversity of possible outcomes depending on economical and epidemiological parameters. We derive a simple condition showing to what extent subsidizing clean seeds relative to the epidemiological features of the disease may help eradicate or control the disease. Then we consider dynamic optimal control and Pontryagin’s maximum principle to study the optimal usage of clean seeds to control the disease. The dynamical results are comparable to the static ones and are even simpler in some sense. In particular, the condition on the critical subsidy rate that makes clean seed usage economically viable is unchanged from the static optimization case. We discuss how these results may apply to the control of maize lethal necrosis in East-Africa.
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hal-03200491 , version 1 (16-04-2021)



Frédéric Marie Hamelin, Brady Bowen, Pierre Bernhard, Vushrali A Bokil. Optimal Control of Plant Disease Epidemics with Clean Seed Usage. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 2021, 83 (5), pp.46. ⟨10.1007/s11538-021-00872-w⟩. ⟨hal-03200491⟩
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