Special Issue "Interactions between Microorganisms in Plant Diseases"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Crop Protection, Diseases, Pest and Weeds".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 April 2022) | Viewed by 3277

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ofir Degani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Plant Science, MIGAL-Galilee Research Institute, Kiryat Shmona, Israel
2. Faculty of Sciences, Tel-Hai College, Upper Galilee, Tel-Hai 12210, Israel
Interests: endophytes; phytopathology; plant-pathogen interactions; crops biological; chemical protection
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants are threatened by a diversity of pathogen species living in complex communities, including various other non-pathogenic microorganisms. Two or more pathogens on the same host can result in significantly different disease outcomes than those for single infections. The natural microorganism communities inhabiting the plant phyllosphere (the above-ground portions of the plant’s habitat) or the rhizosphere (the roots’ surrounding habitat) also include non-pathogenic members that have protective effects against pathogens. These beneficial species can also confer the plant with better immunity against environmental stresses. The plant’s pathobiome comprises a collection of co-existing phytopathogens that affect each other and the host plant’s health. They are formed by pathogens inhabiting the same ecological niche and either cooperating or competing for the same plant resources. This Special Issue welcomes papers focusing on recent scientific progress and innovation in the intriguing relationships between microorganisms and their implications on the plant’s immunity to biotic and abiotic stresses. Our ability to understand and intervene in this fabric of relationships is essential to increase plant health and crop yields.

Dr. Ofir Degani
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • abiotic stresses
  • biological control
  • crop protection
  • endophytes
  • plant health
  • plant microbiome
  • plant microflora
  • microbial interactions
  • microorganism communities

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Communication
First Report on Purpureocillium lilacinum Infection of Indoor-Cultivated Morel Primordia
Agriculture 2022, 12(5), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12050695 - 14 May 2022
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Abstract
The cultivation of morel mushrooms (Morchella spp.) outdoors or in controlled indoor systems is a relatively new practice, and infections are beginning to be observed. Infection of indoor-cultivated Morchella rufobrunnea initials (primordia) occurred at our research facilities in Israel. The mushroom initials [...] Read more.
The cultivation of morel mushrooms (Morchella spp.) outdoors or in controlled indoor systems is a relatively new practice, and infections are beginning to be observed. Infection of indoor-cultivated Morchella rufobrunnea initials (primordia) occurred at our research facilities in Israel. The mushroom initials turned brown, were covered with a dense white mycelium of a foreign fungus and were disintegrated soon after. The isolation of a fungal contaminant from the infected mushroom revealed small colonies with a pinkish spore zone on potato dextrose agar medium. Molecular identification using partial large subunit 28S ribosomal DNA and rRNA internal transcribed spacer sequences identified the fungus as Purpureocillium lilacinum. Inoculation of Morchella colony on agar plat with the isolated fungus caused browning and inhibition of mycelial growth. Inoculation of a healthy primordium with P. lilacinum spores resulted in its browning and deterioration. This is the first report of an infection of indoor-cultivated mushroom and the first showing P. lilacinum as a pathogen of morels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microorganisms in Plant Diseases)
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Article
Pathogenic Interactions between Macrophomina phaseolina and Magnaporthiopsis maydis in Mutually Infected Cotton Sprouts
Agriculture 2022, 12(2), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12020255 - 10 Feb 2022
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Abstract
The soil fungus Macrophomina phaseolina, the charcoal rot disease agent, poses a major threat to cotton fields. In Israel, highly infected areas are also inhabited by the maize pathogen Magnaporthiopsis maydis. This study reveals the relationships between the two pathogens and [...] Read more.
The soil fungus Macrophomina phaseolina, the charcoal rot disease agent, poses a major threat to cotton fields. In Israel, highly infected areas are also inhabited by the maize pathogen Magnaporthiopsis maydis. This study reveals the relationships between the two pathogens and their impact on cotton sprouts. Infecting the soil 14 days before sowing (DBS) with each pathogen or with M. phaseolina before M. maydis caused a strong inhibition (up to 50–65%) of the sprouts’ development and survival, accompanied by each pathogen’s high DNA levels in the plants. However, combined or sequence infection with M. maydis first led to two distinct scenarios. This pathogen acted as a beneficial protective endophyte in one experiment, leading to significantly high emergence and growth indices of the plants and a ca. 10-fold reduction in M. phaseolina DNA in the sprouts’ roots. In contrast, M. maydis showed strong virulence potential (with 43–69% growth and survival suppression) in the other experiment, proving its true nature as an opportunist. Interestingly, soil inoculation with M. phaseolina first, 14 DBS (but not at sowing), shielded the plants from M. maydis’ devastating impact. The results suggest that the two pathogens restrict each other, and this equilibrium may lead to a moderate disease burst. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microorganisms in Plant Diseases)
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Article
Harnessing the Phytase Production Potential of Soil-Borne Fungi from Wastewater Irrigated Fields Based on Eco-Cultural Optimization under Shake Flask Method
Agriculture 2022, 12(1), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12010103 - 12 Jan 2022
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Abstract
Indigenous fungi present in agricultural soils could have synchronized their inherent potentials to the local climatic conditions. Therefore, the fungi resident in the untreated wastewater irrigated agricultural field might develop their potential for producing various enzymes to handle the induced full organic load [...] Read more.
Indigenous fungi present in agricultural soils could have synchronized their inherent potentials to the local climatic conditions. Therefore, the fungi resident in the untreated wastewater irrigated agricultural field might develop their potential for producing various enzymes to handle the induced full organic load from domestic wastewater and toxic chemicals from the textile industry. Around 53 various fungal isolates were grown and separated from the soil samples from these sites through soil dilution, soil-culture plate, and soil-culture plate methods. All the purified fungi were subjected to a phosphatase production test, and only 13 fungal strains were selected as phosphatase producers. Among them, only five fungi identified as Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Penicillium purourogenum, and Mucor rouxii based on morphological similarities, showing higher phosphate solubilizing indices, were utilized for eco-cultural fine-tuning to harness their full production potential under shake flask (SF) method. Among various media, orchestral tuning, 200 µM sodium phytate as substrate with 1.5 mL of inoculum size of the fungi, pH 7, temperature 30 °C, glucose, and ammonium nitrate as carbon and nitrogen additive with seven days of incubation were found to be the most appropriate cultural conditions to harness the phytase production potential of the selected fungi. Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus showed initial phytase activity (5.2 Units/mL, 4.8 Units/mL) and phytase specific activity (2.85, 2.65 Units/mL per mg protein) during screening to be enhanced up to 17 ± 0.033 (Units/mL), 16 ± 0.033 (Units/mL) and (13 ± 0.012), 10 ± 0.066 (Units/mL per mg protein), respectively, with the above-mentioned conditions. The phytase enzyme produced from these fungi were found to be almost stable for a wide range of pH (4–8); temperature (20–60 °C); insensitive to Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions, and EDTA, Ni2+, and Ba2+ inhibitors but highly sensitive to Mn2+, Cu2+, and Zn2+ ions, and Co2+, Cr3+, Al3+, Fe2+ and Ag1+ inhibitors. It was suggested that both phytase-producing strains of A. niger and A. flavus or their crude phytase enzymes might be good candidates for application in soils to release phosphates from phytate and a possible valuable substitute of phosphate fertilizers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microorganisms in Plant Diseases)
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Article
Fungal Endophytes of Vitis vinifera—Plant Growth Promotion Factors
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1250; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11121250 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 676
Abstract
Endophytes are microorganisms that live asymptomatically inside plant tissues. They are beneficial to their host in many aspects, especially as a defense against foreign phytopathogens through the production of a variety of metabolites. These substances can serve as sources of new natural products [...] Read more.
Endophytes are microorganisms that live asymptomatically inside plant tissues. They are beneficial to their host in many aspects, especially as a defense against foreign phytopathogens through the production of a variety of metabolites. These substances can serve as sources of new natural products for medicinal, agricultural, and industrial purposes. This article is focused on endophytic fungi from Vitis vinifera. The purpose of the research was their isolation and identification during the Vitis vinifera growing season. Subsequently, the isolates were tested for the production of biotechnologically interesting metabolites (siderophores, antioxidants, and antifungal compounds). In total, 24 endophytic fungi were isolated, the most represented genus was Cladosporium sp. The results of the test for antioxidant and antifungal properties, as well as siderophore production, have shown that the population of Vitis vinifera endophytic microscopic fungi could serve as a promising source of metabolites with a wide range of applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microorganisms in Plant Diseases)
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Article
Biodiversity of Culturable Endophytic Actinobacteria Isolated from High Yield Camellia oleifera and Their Plant Growth Promotion Potential
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1150; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111150 - 16 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 595
Abstract
Camellia oleifera Abel. is one of the world’s four famous woody oil trees and has drawn increasing attention because of its high commercial value. Endophytes are microorganisms inhabiting inside plant tissues, and their functions vary with the change of host status and environmental [...] Read more.
Camellia oleifera Abel. is one of the world’s four famous woody oil trees and has drawn increasing attention because of its high commercial value. Endophytes are microorganisms inhabiting inside plant tissues, and their functions vary with the change of host status and environmental parameters. To deepen our understanding of the interactions between C. oleifera and their endophytic actinobacteria, the present study investigated the four endophytic actinobacterial composition-residing high-yield C. oleifera trees. A total of 156 endophytic actinobacterial isolates were obtained distributed in 17 genera. Among them, Streptomyces was the dominant endophytic actinobacteria, followed by Nocardia, Amycolatopsis, Microbiospora, Micromonospora and other rare actinobacteria genera. Soil characteristics including soil pH and organic matter were found to play crucial roles in shaping the endophytic actinobacterial community composition. Furthermore, all isolates were studied to determine their plant growth-promotion traits, 86.54% could produce Indole 3-Acetic Acid, 16.03% showed nitrogen-fixing, 21.15% showed phosphorus solubilizing, and 35.26% produced siderophore. Under the glasshouse condition, some isolates exhibited growth promotion effects on C. oleifera seedlings with significant increase in spring shoot length and ground diameter. Altogether, this study demonstrated that C. oleifera plants harbored a high diversity and novelty of culturable endophytic actinobacteria, which represent important potential as natural biofertilizers for the high production of C. oleifera. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microorganisms in Plant Diseases)
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