Plant Protection and Biostimulation by Natural Compounds and Beneficial Microorganisms

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2022) | Viewed by 13693

Special Issue Editors


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Laboratory of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Area of Vegetal Physiology, Department of Agricultural Sciences, Universitat Jaume I, 12071 Castellon, Spain
Interests: plant microbiology; plant–microbe interaction; plant protection; induced resistance; plant physiology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Area of Plant physiology. Department of agricultural sciences Universitat Jaume I, 12071 Castellon, Spain
Interests: plant microbiology; plant–microbe interaction; plant protection; induced resistance; microbiology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Area of Plant Physiology, Department of Agricultural Sciences Universitat Jaume I, 12071 Castellon, Spain
Interests: plant microbiology; plant microbe interaction; plant protection; induced resistance; microbiology

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Guest Editor
Agroforestal Pathology Research Group, Department of Agronomy, ETSIAM, University of Cordoba, 14071 Cordoba, Spain
Interests: biocontrol; etiology; epidemiology; fungi; integrated pest management; Mediterranean fruit crops; phytopathology; plant–pathogen–environment interactions; fungal trunk and vascular diseases
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Current studies about global food and agriculture show that world production may need to be increased by 60%–110% before 2050 to avoid food shortage. Along with the demand for increased production, there is also a requirement to protect the environment, mainly by reducing the number of pesticides, and making better use of agricultural inputs and resources: land, water, fertilizers, and energy. Classic improvement remains the most widely used method for the production of improved and stress-resistant crop plants. However, it has become clear that this approach by itself will not be sufficient to provide long-term solutions due to its many limitations. The use of natural alternatives, such as biostimulants and beneficial microorganisms, has become one of the most promising strategies to improve food production, reducing the amount of chemical inputs.

This Special Issue is intended to bring together a collection of research papers on the applied use natural bio stimulants and beneficial microorganisms in growth promotion and plant protection including creative strategies to grow more food with fewer resources and less problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers.

Dr. Eugenio Llorens
Dr. Begonya Vicedo
Dr. Loredana Scalschi
Dr. Carlos Agustí-Brisach
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • beneficial microorganisms
  • plant protection
  • biotic and abiotic stress
  • growth promotion
  • crop improvement

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

10 pages, 1555 KiB  
Article
Plant Growth-Promoting Bacterium from Non-Agricultural Soil Improves Okra Plant Growth
by Heba Adel AlAli, Ashraf Khalifa and Mohammed Almalki
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 873; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060873 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3226
Abstract
Beneficial soil microorganisms influence nutrient recycling, soil fertility, plant growth, and productivity and reduce chemical fertilizer application. This study aimed to isolate bacteria from non-agricultural soils in the Al-Ahsa region and characterize the bacteria with the best biostimulating characteristics at the physiological, biochemical, [...] Read more.
Beneficial soil microorganisms influence nutrient recycling, soil fertility, plant growth, and productivity and reduce chemical fertilizer application. This study aimed to isolate bacteria from non-agricultural soils in the Al-Ahsa region and characterize the bacteria with the best biostimulating characteristics at the physiological, biochemical, and molecular level. DPM17, a bacterial isolate, promotes plant growth through phosphate solubilization, nitrogen fixation, and ammonia production. DPM17 also produces the phytohormones, indole acetic acid (IAA; 4.516 μg mL−1) and gibberellin (1.33 µg mL−1), and ammonia (0.06 µg mL−1). Additionally, DPM17 grows in the presence of up to 10% NaCl, indicating its halophilic nature. DPM17 was identified as Bacillus baekryungensis based on comparative sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene, and neighbor-joining phylogenetic analyses indicated that DPM17 was 96.51% identified to Bacillus sp. DPM17 inoculation substantially improved Abelmoschus esculentus (okra) root length, lateral root count, and dry weight from 7.03 to 9.41 (p = 0.03), 3.2 to 7.2, and 6 to 13 mg (p = 0.032), respectively. The results suggest that DPM17 enhances plant growth and can be exploited to develop efficient formulations for sustainable agriculture and food security in Saudi Arabia. Full article
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13 pages, 609 KiB  
Article
Chitosan as an Adjuvant to Improve Isopyrazam Azoxystrobin against Leaf Spot Disease of Kiwifruit and Enhance Its Photosynthesis, Quality, and Amino Acids
by Qiuping Wang, Haitao Li, Yang Lei, Yue Su and Youhua Long
Agriculture 2022, 12(3), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12030373 - 7 Mar 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2540
Abstract
Leaf spot disease caused by Lasiodiplodia theobromae is one of the most serious fungal diseases of kiwifruit production. In this work, the co-application of isopyrazam·azoxystrobin and chitosan against leaf spot disease in kiwifruit and its effects on disease resistance, photosynthesis, yield, quality, and [...] Read more.
Leaf spot disease caused by Lasiodiplodia theobromae is one of the most serious fungal diseases of kiwifruit production. In this work, the co-application of isopyrazam·azoxystrobin and chitosan against leaf spot disease in kiwifruit and its effects on disease resistance, photosynthesis, yield, quality, and amino acids of kiwifruit were investigated. The results show that isopyrazam·azoxystrobin exhibited a superior bioactivity against L. theobromae with an EC50 value of 0.1826 mg kg−1. The foliar application of chitosan could effectively enhance isopyrazam·azoxystrobin against leaf spot disease with a field control efficacy of 86.83% by spraying 29% isopyrazam·azoxystrobin suspension concentrate (SC) 1500 time + chitosan 100-time liquid, which was significantly (p < 0.05) higher than 78.70% of 29% isopyrazam·azoxystrobin SC 1000-time liquid. The co-application of isopyrazam·azoxystrobin and chitosan effectively enhanced soluble protein, resistance enzymes’ activity in kiwifruit leaves, and reduced their malonaldehyde (MDA), as well as reliably improved their photosynthetic characteristics. Simultaneously, their co-application was more effective in promoting growth, quality, and amino acids of kiwifruit fruits compared to isopyrazam·azoxystrobin or chitosan alone. This study highlights that the co-application of isopyrazam·azoxystrobin and chitosan can be used as a green, safe, and efficient approach for controlling leaf spot disease of kiwifruit and reducing the application of chemical fungicides. Full article
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14 pages, 3647 KiB  
Article
Antifungal Activities of Ageratum conyzoides L. Extract against Rice Pathogens Pyricularia oryzae Cavara and Rhizoctonia solani Kühn
by Cuong C. Nguyen, Thanh Q. C. Nguyen, Kenji Kanaori, Tran Duy Binh, Xuyen H. T. Dao, Le Van Vang and Kaeko Kamei
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1169; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111169 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3620
Abstract
Blast disease and sheath blight disease caused by infection with Pyricularia oryzae and Rhizoctonia solani, respectively, are serious fungal diseases in paddy fields. Although synthetic fungicides have been used to control these diseases, the development of ecologically friendly alternatives is required because [...] Read more.
Blast disease and sheath blight disease caused by infection with Pyricularia oryzae and Rhizoctonia solani, respectively, are serious fungal diseases in paddy fields. Although synthetic fungicides have been used to control these diseases, the development of ecologically friendly alternatives is required because fungicides can cause health problems and environmental pollution. Natural herbs possessing antifungal activities are among the candidates as alternatives. Ageratum conyzoides is known to contain antifungal compounds, such as precocene II and polymethoxyflavones. Here, we report the antifungal activities of five compounds isolated after ethanol extraction from Ageratum conyzoides against Pyricularia oryzae and Rhizoctonia solani in vitro. Further, we demonstrated the protective effect of the extract on rice from Pyricularia oryzae infection by field trial testing in a shaded net-house. Full article
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14 pages, 1509 KiB  
Article
Bacillus velezensis T149-19 and Bacillus safensis T052-76 as Potential Biocontrol Agents against Foot Rot Disease in Sweet Potato
by Jackeline Rossetti Mateus, Isabella Dal’Rio, Diogo Jurelevicius, Fabio Faria da Mota, Joana Montezano Marques, Rommel Thiago Juca Ramos, Artur Luiz da Costa da Silva, Paulo Roberto Gagliardi and Lucy Seldin
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111046 - 25 Oct 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3118
Abstract
Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) tuberous roots are used for human consumption, animal feed, and many industrial products. However, the crop is susceptible to various pests and diseases, including foot rot disease caused by the phytopathogenic fungus Plenodomus destruens. Biological control [...] Read more.
Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) tuberous roots are used for human consumption, animal feed, and many industrial products. However, the crop is susceptible to various pests and diseases, including foot rot disease caused by the phytopathogenic fungus Plenodomus destruens. Biological control of plant pathogens by Bacillus species is widely disseminated in agrosystems, but specific biological control agents against the foot rot disease-causing fungus are not yet available. Our previous studies showed that two Bacillus strains isolated from sweet potato roots—B. safensis T052-76 and B. velezensis T149-19—were able to inhibit P. destruens in vitro, but data from in vivo experiments using simultaneously the fungus and the bacteria were missing. In this study, both strains were shown to protect the plant from the disease and to mitigate the symptoms of foot rot disease in pot experiments. Total fungal community quantification using real-time PCR showed a significant decrease in the number of copies of the ITS gene when the bacteria were inoculated, compared to the control (with the fungus only). To determine the genes encoding antimicrobial substances likely to inhibit the fungus, their genomes were sequenced and annotated. Genes coding for mycosubtilin, bacillaene, macrolactin, bacillibactin, bacilysin, plantazolicin, plipastatin, dificidine, fengycin and surfactin were found in B. velezensis T149-19, while those coding for bacylisin, lichenysin, bacillibactin, fengycin and surfactin were found in B. safensis T052-76. Altogether, the data presented here contribute to advancing the knowledge for the use of these Bacillus strains as biocontrol products in sweet potato. Full article
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