Special Issue "Integrated Pest and Disease Management of Mushrooms and Vegetable Crops"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Pest and Disease Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2022) | Viewed by 14641

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jaime Carrasco
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Centro Tecnológico de Investigación del Champiñón deLa Rioja (CTICH), Autol, Spain
2. Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RB, UK
Interests: mushroom cultivation; mushroom pathology; pest management; fungal biology; composting; mycology; biocontrol; fungal ecology
Dr. Francisco J. Gea
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centro de Investigación, Experimentación y Servicios del Champiñón, Cuenca, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain
Interests: mushroom cultivation; plant pathology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Globalization and rising competition position innovation as a key tool to increase productivity and minimize losses provoked by the action of biotic disorders caused by pests (flies, nematodes or mites) and diseases (fungi, bacteria or viruses) in agricultural crops.

In this respect, it is accurate to deliver tailored solutions to resolve the technical and commercial barriers and promote more sustainable production by implementing cutting-edge techniques to improve and to generate novel integrated pest and disease management programs.

This Special Issue will offer comprehensive coverage of the general principles and advances to fight pests and diseases in mushrooms and horticultural crops of commercial relevance. We kindly invite authors to submit a review article, an original research article, or a short communication on topics related to the incidence, identification and pathogenicity of novel agricultural pests, diseases and mechanisms of parasitic action, including molecular tools, pest and disease ecology and measurements of control, monitoring the impact of pest and disease resistance to classic pesticides, and the implementation of integrated pest and disease management programs with the inclusion of biocontrol strategies, in addition to breeding programs for new crop varieties resistant to targeted diseases and pests.

As Guest Editors, we look forward to reviewing your relevant contributions to this Special Issue.

Dr. Jaime Carrasco
Dr. Francisco J. Gea
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 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

  • plant pathology
  • mushroom pathology
  • plant protection
  • phytopathology
  • mycology
  • parasitic action
  • breeding
  • fungal diseases
  • bacterial diseases
  • viral diseases
  • pests
  • incidence and impact
  • emerging diseases and pests
  • pest and disease ecology
  • pesticide resistance
  • biocontrol
  • integrated pest and disease management

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Selection and Characterization of a Bacillus Strain for Potential Application in Industrial Production of White Button Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus)
Agronomy 2022, 12(2), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12020467 - 13 Feb 2022
Viewed by 659
Abstract
White button mushroom—Agaricus bisporus (J.E.Lange) Imbach—is among the most popular cultivated mushrooms worldwide. The most serious challenge in industrial mushroom production is the green mold disease caused by Trichoderma species. Our aim was to isolate and examine bacterial strains from mushroom casing [...] Read more.
White button mushroom—Agaricus bisporus (J.E.Lange) Imbach—is among the most popular cultivated mushrooms worldwide. The most serious challenge in industrial mushroom production is the green mold disease caused by Trichoderma species. Our aim was to isolate and examine bacterial strains from mushroom casing material for their potential use as biocontrol agents. Twenty-seven bacterial strains were isolated and tested against mold pathogens of white button mushroom. The Bacillus velezensis strain SZMC 25431 was selected for further examination and tested under simulated Agaricus cultivation conditions against T. aggressivum SZMC 23834 in a 1200-L Fitotron SGC120 standard plant growth chamber. Our results showed that the bacterial treatment was effective against the pathogen in all cases, but the best results were achieved at an application concentration of 105 cells mL−1. Industrial-scale experiments were also carried out in Agaricus growing houses with a bearing surface of 480 m2: the bacterial suspension was mixed in water tanks applied for daily irrigation. The results suggest that the bacterial treatment may even increase the crop yield of A. bisporus. Based on our results, we concluded that the selected B. velezensis strain may potentially be used for biological and integrated treatment in Agaricus cultivation. Full article
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Article
Effective and Promising Strategy in Management of Tomato Root-Knot Nematodes by Trichoderma harzianum and Arbuscular Mycorrhizae
Agronomy 2022, 12(2), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12020315 - 26 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1043
Abstract
The ecosystem is considerably affected due to the extensive use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. As an alternative strategy, this study aimed to assess the biocontrol potential of the bioagents arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant growth-promoting Trichoderma harzianum MZ025966 against tomato root-knot [...] Read more.
The ecosystem is considerably affected due to the extensive use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. As an alternative strategy, this study aimed to assess the biocontrol potential of the bioagents arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant growth-promoting Trichoderma harzianum MZ025966 against tomato root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne javanica). T. harzianum showed a great potentiality to produce indole acetic acid (IAA) (12.11 ± 2.12 μg/mL) and exhibited a noticeable activity of ammonification. Furthermore, T. harzianum revealed protease and lipase enzymatic activity of 28.36 ± 2.82 U/mL and 12.30 ± 0.31 U/mL, respectively, which may illustrate the control mechanism of nematode eggs and juveniles. As in mycorrhizal and/or T. harzianum inoculated tomato plants, the penetration rates of nematodes, as well as the number of juveniles, females, egg mass, and galls were significantly reduced. The lowest number of juveniles was observed in the case of either single mycorrhizal inoculation (45%) or in combination with T. harzianum (55%). The enzymatic activity of glutathione peroxidase and catalase was enhanced in tomato plants inoculated with the bioagents to overcome the negative impact of nematode parasitism. Our results proved that the application of biocontrol agents not only reduced the nematode population and penetration rate but also improved the plant growth, increased the nutritional elemental content and stimulated the plant’s systematic resistance. Full article
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Article
Anatomical and Biochemical Traits Associated with Field Resistance of Onion Cultivars to Onion Thrips and the Effect of Mechanical Injury on the Level of Biochemical Compounds in Onion Leaves
Agronomy 2022, 12(1), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12010147 - 08 Jan 2022
Viewed by 415
Abstract
Thrips tabaci Lind. is a global pest and also represents a serious threat to onion production in Poland. In 2 years (2015–2016) of field studies, 8 onion cultivars were evaluated to characterize the resistance to onion thrips and to determine if any biochemical [...] Read more.
Thrips tabaci Lind. is a global pest and also represents a serious threat to onion production in Poland. In 2 years (2015–2016) of field studies, 8 onion cultivars were evaluated to characterize the resistance to onion thrips and to determine if any biochemical and anatomical features of onion plants are associated with antixenotic and/or antibiotic mechanisms of resistance. Additionally, the influence of mechanical injury on the content of several biochemical compounds in onion leaves was made. The resistance to thrips colonization during the migration period, abundance, and thrips damage throughout the whole vegetation season was determined. We identified two cultivars, Tęcza and Wenta, resistant to thrips colonization and abundance, and one cultivar Wenta resistant to thrips damage. A positive correlation between concentrations of the reducing sugars and thrips abundance and conversely negative relationships between the total phenolic content and thrips damage was confirmed in both years. We suspect that a thinner epidermal layer, a smaller area of epidermal and mesophilic cells, and a lower diameter of vascular bundles may favor the resistance of onion cultivars to thrips. Thrips foraging resulted in a decrease in the content of soluble sugars, sucrose, and plant pigments in the leaves of all onion varieties. Full article
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Article
Members of the Trichoderma harzianum Species Complex with Mushroom Pathogenic Potential
Agronomy 2021, 11(12), 2434; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11122434 - 29 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 737
Abstract
Previously, severe green mould infections could be attributed mainly to Trichoderma aggressivum Samuels & W. Gams, as well as T. pleuroti S.H. Yu & M.S. Park and T. pleuroticola S.H. Yu & M.S. Park in the case of Agaricus bisporus (J.E. Lange) Imbach [...] Read more.
Previously, severe green mould infections could be attributed mainly to Trichoderma aggressivum Samuels & W. Gams, as well as T. pleuroti S.H. Yu & M.S. Park and T. pleuroticola S.H. Yu & M.S. Park in the case of Agaricus bisporus (J.E. Lange) Imbach (button mushroom) and Pleurotus ostreatus (Jacq.) P. Kumm. (oyster mushroom), respectively. The purpose of our study was the examination of green mould agents deriving from the growing facilities of button mushroom, oyster mushroom and shiitake (Lentinula edodes (Berk.) Pegler) located in various countries of Europe, and initially classified into the Trichoderma harzianum Rifai species complex (THSC). Species identification was carried out using the multilocus sequence typing analysis of the internal transcribed spacer regions, as well as translation elongation factor 1-alpha, calmodulin and RNA polymerase B subunit II gene sequences. In vitro confrontation assays were applied to test the aggressiveness of the isolates towards mushrooms, while the effect of commercial fungicides on the growth of the strains was examined by the macrodilution method. Six Trichoderma species, namely T. afroharzianum P. Chaverri, F.B. Rocha, Degenkolb & Druzhin., T. atrobrunneum F.B. Rocha, P. Chaverri & Jaklitsch, T. guizhouense Q.R. Li, McKenzie & Yong Wang, T. harzianum sensu stricto, T. pollinicola F. Liu & L. Cai and T. simmonsii P. Chaverri, F.B. Rocha, Samuels, Degenkolb & Jaklitsch were detected in the different samples, with T. harzianum, T. pollinicola and T. simmonsii being the most aggressive. Prochloraz was found to have strong in vitro inhibitory effect on mycelial growth on most strains, however, T. simmonsii isolates showed remarkable tolerance to it. Our data suggest that T. harzianum and T. simmonsii may also be considered as potential causal agents of mushroom green mould. Full article
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Article
The Role of Water Content in the Casing Layer for Mushroom Crop Production and the Occurrence of Fungal Diseases
Agronomy 2021, 11(10), 2063; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11102063 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 607
Abstract
Mushroom cultivation requires effective control of environmental cues to obtain the best yield and high quality. The impact of water content in the casing layer on mushroom yield and the incidence of two of the most important diseases in the mushroom growing farms, [...] Read more.
Mushroom cultivation requires effective control of environmental cues to obtain the best yield and high quality. The impact of water content in the casing layer on mushroom yield and the incidence of two of the most important diseases in the mushroom growing farms, dry bubble and cobweb diseases, was evaluated. Different initial water content in the casing and two alternative irrigation programs applied (light or moderate irrigation) were the agronomic parameters under study during five separate button mushroom crop trials. Higher initial humidity content in the casing layer reported a larger yield, with a fewer number of basidiomes but heavier, while no correlation to the dry matter content or the colour of the basidiomes was noted. The incidence of dry bubble disease was not conditioned by the water content of the casing layer, at the high moisture levels established in the study. In the case of Cladobotryum mycophilum, the lower moisture level of the casing layer reported more incidence of cobweb disease, and subsequently harmful yield losses. According to the results obtained, the right management of the moisture level in the casing materials could promote crop yield and preclude the significant impact of dry bubble and cobweb diseases. Full article
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Article
Effect of Seed Dressing and Soil Chemical Properties on Communities of Microorganisms Associated with Pre-Emergence Damping-Off of Broad Bean Seedlings
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1889; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091889 - 21 Sep 2021
Viewed by 635
Abstract
Combating soil pathogens that disable plant emergence is among the most difficult challenges of global agriculture. Legumes, preferred in sustainable cultivation systems, are particularly sensitive to pre-emergence damping-off of seedlings. Seed dressing is therefore a very important element in the cultivation technology. The [...] Read more.
Combating soil pathogens that disable plant emergence is among the most difficult challenges of global agriculture. Legumes, preferred in sustainable cultivation systems, are particularly sensitive to pre-emergence damping-off of seedlings. Seed dressing is therefore a very important element in the cultivation technology. The aim of this study was to compare the impact of biological (Pythium oligandrum) and chemical (carboxin + thiuram) seed dressing on the quantitative and qualitative composition of microorganisms participating in the epidemiology of this disease, under specific hydrothermal conditions and chemical properties of the soil (pH, humus, macro-, and micronutrient). Microorganism identification was done using the MALDI-TOF MS (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry) technique. Species were assigned to frequency groups, and populations of pathogens, saprophytes, and antagonists were identified. The biodiversity of these communities was expressed with Simpson’s Reciprocal, Shannon–Wiener, and Evenness (Shannon) indices. In individual variants of seed pre-treatment, the correlations between individual edaphic factors and the suppression of pre-emergence damping-off, the number of isolates obtained from infected seedlings, and the share of individual trophic groups of fungi were assessed. The main causes of pre-emergence damping-off of broad bean seedlings are Ilyonectria destructans, Globisporangium irregulare, Fusarium equiseti, Rhizoctonia solani, and Fusarium solani. Eliminating seed treatment results in a seedling mortality rate of 33.5–42.5%. The effectiveness of the chemical protection product is 44.2% and 25.9%. Carboxin and thiuram reduce the diversity of microorganisms involved in the pathogenesis of pre-emergence damping-off and limit the presence of antagonistic fungi. Under the influence of P. oligandrum, there was a five-fold increase in the population of antagonists. An increase in humus in the soil reduces the percentage of diseased broad bean seedlings. Full article
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Article
Potential Application of Rhizobacteria Isolated from the Central Highland of Vietnam as an Effective Biocontrol Agent of Robusta Coffee Nematodes and as a Bio-Fertilizer
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1887; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091887 - 20 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Robusta coffee is a major commercial crop in the Central Highland of Vietnam with high economic and export value. However, this crop is adversely affected by various pathogens, particularly nematodes. This study aimed to screen active anti-nematode rhizobacterial strains for sustainable coffee production. [...] Read more.
Robusta coffee is a major commercial crop in the Central Highland of Vietnam with high economic and export value. However, this crop is adversely affected by various pathogens, particularly nematodes. This study aimed to screen active anti-nematode rhizobacterial strains for sustainable coffee production. Among more than 200 isolates, the isolate TUN03 demonstrated efficient biocontrol with nearly 100% mortality of J2 coffee nematodes Meloidogyne spp. and 84% inhibition of nematode egg hatching. This active strain was identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa TUN03 based on its 16S rRNA gene sequence and phylogenetic analysis. In greenhouse tests, the strain TUN03 significantly reduced the coffee nematode population in the rhizome-soil with an 83.23% inhibition rate and showed plant growth-promoting effects. Notably, this is the first report of the nematicidal effect of P. aeruginosa against coffee nematodes. This potent strain further showed an antifungal effect against various crop-pathogenic fungi and was found to be the most effective against Fusarium solani F04 (isolated from coffee roots) with a 70.51% inhibition rate. In addition, high-performance liquid chromatography analysis revealed that this bacterial strain also secretes plant growth regulators including indole acetic acid (IAA), gibberellic acid (GA3), kinetin, and zeatin in significant amounts of 100, 2700, 37, and 9.5 µg/mL, respectively. The data from this study suggest that P. aeruginosa TUN03 may be a potential biocontrol agent and biofertilizer for the sustainable production of Robusta coffee and other crops. Full article
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Article
Biological Activities of Methanolic Extract of Aegle marmelos against HN Protein of Newcastle Disease Virus
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1784; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091784 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1112
Abstract
The current study explores the methanolic extracts of the leaves and fruit of Aegle marmelos (Bael) for their total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoids content (TFC), antioxidants, and antibiofilms, as well as its in ovo antiviral potential against Newcastle disease virus (NDV). [...] Read more.
The current study explores the methanolic extracts of the leaves and fruit of Aegle marmelos (Bael) for their total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoids content (TFC), antioxidants, and antibiofilms, as well as its in ovo antiviral potential against Newcastle disease virus (NDV). The drug-likeliness thereof and the potential identification of an interaction—their molecular docking of ligands with target proteins by GOLD—was determined in silico using the Swiss ADME software. The total flavonoids content (TFC) was 135.17 ± 2.02 and 111.2 ± 3.67 mg QE/g, while the total phenolics content (TPC) was 185.02 ± 2.15 and 171.13 ± 6.73 mg GAE/g, in the fruit and leaves extracts, respectively. In a DPPH assay, the IC50 value for the methanolic extracts of leaves and fruit was 63.52 ± 1.48 and 52.06 ± 1.62. μg/mL d.w. The fruit extract of A. marmelos showed significantly higher reducing power (i.e., 59.32 ± 0.05 µmol/g d.w) than the leaves extract (p < 0.05). The biofilm-inhibition activity of the fruit extract of A. marmelos was 65.78 ± 0.65 µg/mL. Both parts of the plant showed potent antiviral potential at higher concentrations. A study in silico, using the molecular docking of three compounds, showed good interaction with the HN protein, with considerable binding affinities and fulfilled docking parameters. This work shows that Aegle marmelos and its phytoconstituents can be used as a potential remedy for NDV. Full article
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Article
Efficacy of Liquid Soap and Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitisers in Eradicating Viable Conidia of the Mushroom Pathogen Lecanicillium fungicola on Contaminated Hands
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1600; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11081600 - 12 Aug 2021
Viewed by 818
Abstract
Lecanicillium fungicola causes dry bubble disease of the white button mushroom and produces masses of sticky conidia. Humans are an important vector in the spread of this disease in mushroom farms. Three hand cleaning treatments (tap water, liquid soap and alcohol-based hand sanitisers [...] Read more.
Lecanicillium fungicola causes dry bubble disease of the white button mushroom and produces masses of sticky conidia. Humans are an important vector in the spread of this disease in mushroom farms. Three hand cleaning treatments (tap water, liquid soap and alcohol-based hand sanitisers (ABHSs)) were evaluated for their effectiveness at eliminating conidia of L. fungicola from a contaminated index finger. The hand sanitisers were highly efficacious in reducing the number of viable L. fungicola conidia on contaminated fingertips, although some variability was encountered. The tap water and liquid soap treatments had little effect. An in vitro test confirmed that the log10 reduction in viable conidia after 1 min exposure to the different treatments was ≤1 for tap water and soap and >4 for the ABHSs, which is similar to what is achieved in the medical care field for many bacteria and viruses. Thus, regular use of ABHSs by staff on mushroom farms may help to reduce the incidence of dry bubble disease. Their use could also be beneficial in other areas of intensive horticulture or agriculture where human hands are known to transmit plant pathogens to uninfected plants. Full article
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Communication
The Microflora of Maize Grains as a Biological Barrier against the Late Wilt Causal Agent, Magnaporthiopsis maydis
Agronomy 2021, 11(5), 965; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050965 - 12 May 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1103
Abstract
The maize pathogen Magnaporthiopsis maydis causes severe damage to commercial fields in the late growth stages. This late wilt disease has spread since its discovery (the 1980s) and is now common in most corn-growing areas in Israel. In some fields and sensitive plant [...] Read more.
The maize pathogen Magnaporthiopsis maydis causes severe damage to commercial fields in the late growth stages. This late wilt disease has spread since its discovery (the 1980s) and is now common in most corn-growing areas in Israel. In some fields and sensitive plant species, the disease can affect 100% of the plants. The M. maydis pathogen has a hidden endophytic lifecycle (developed inside the plants with no visible symptoms) in resistant corn plants and secondary hosts, such as green foxtail and cotton. As such, it may also be opportunist and attack the host in exceptional cases when conditions encourage it. This work aims to study the pathogen’s interactions with maize endophytes (which may play a part in the plant’s resistance factors). For this purpose, 11 fungal and bacterial endophytes were isolated from six sweet and fodder corn cultivars with varying susceptibility to late wilt disease. Of these, five endophytes (four species of fungi and one species of bacteria) were selected based on their ability to repress the pathogen in a plate confrontation test. The selected isolates were applied in seed inoculation and tested in pots in a growth room with the Prelude maize cultivar (a late wilt-sensitive maize hybrid) infected with the M. maydis pathogen. This assay was accompanied by real-time qPCR that enables tracking the pathogen DNA inside the host roots. After 42 days, two of the endophytes, the Trichoderma asperellum, and Chaetomium subaffine fungi, significantly (p < 0.05) improved the infected plants’ growth indices. The fungal species T. asperellum, Chaetomium cochliodes, Penicillium citrinum, and the bacteria Bacillus subtilis treatments were able to reduce the M. maydis DNA in the host plant’s roots. Studying the maize endophytes’ role in restricting the invasion and devastating impact of M. maydis is an essential initial step towards developing new measures to control the disease. Such an environmentally friendly control interface will be based on strengthening the plants’ microbiome. Full article
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Article
Relationship between Colonization by Onion Thrips (Thrips tabaci Lind.) and Leaf Colour Measures across Eight Onion Cultivars (Allium cepa L.)
Agronomy 2021, 11(5), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050963 - 12 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 725
Abstract
Thrips tabaci Lindeman is a global pest and also represents a serious threat to onion production in Poland. In 2 years (2015–2016) of field studies, 8 onion cultivars were evaluated to characterize their susceptibility to onion thrips and to determine if leaf colour [...] Read more.
Thrips tabaci Lindeman is a global pest and also represents a serious threat to onion production in Poland. In 2 years (2015–2016) of field studies, 8 onion cultivars were evaluated to characterize their susceptibility to onion thrips and to determine if leaf colour is associated with thrips preference. The actual count and the proportional abundance of adult thrips collected from onion leaves during plant colonization by insects were both used to express the preference of thrips for different onion cultivars. At the same time, the colour measurements were analysed by considering the CIELAB (CIE 1976 L*a*b*) and CIE L*C*h* colour spaces. There were distinct differences in the susceptibility of onion cultivars to colonization by onion thrips. Leaf colour coordinate values were correlated with attractiveness to thrips; typically, higher lightness (L*), yellowness (b*), chroma (C*), hue (h*), and lower redness (a*) attracted more thrips. We concluded that the vivid, intense green-yellowish leaf colour of susceptible varieties might have been the cause of the thrips preference observed. We also identified useful genotypes, Tęcza and Wenta, for host plant resistance to thrips and suggest a link between colour and antixenotic resistance. The resistant cultivars had darker, green-grey-yellowish leaves. Full article
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Article
Precrop Effect of Red Clover (Trifolium pratense L.) and Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) on the Population Development of the Northern Root-Knot Nematode Meloidogyne hapla Chitwood, 1949 and on Succeeding Crops—A Pot Study
Agronomy 2021, 11(4), 722; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11040722 - 09 Apr 2021
Viewed by 700
Abstract
The northern root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne hapla, is a major pest of many crop species. The objective of the study was to determine how M. hapla population dynamics is affected by two precrops, i.e., Trifolium pratense and Medicago sativa, in three crop [...] Read more.
The northern root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne hapla, is a major pest of many crop species. The objective of the study was to determine how M. hapla population dynamics is affected by two precrops, i.e., Trifolium pratense and Medicago sativa, in three crop durations: one, two and three years of continuous cultivation. Moreover, we set ourselves the task of evaluating the effect of the legume precrop soil on the growth of the succeeding tomato plant (Solanum lycopersicum) and on the nematode population. The experiment was performed outdoors in pots with naturally infected soil. Both precrop species investigated were found to modify the J2 nematode population density in the soil. The galls and nematode females with egg masses were observed on the roots of both studied plant species at the end of each growing season. They appeared to be more abundant on the red clover roots than on those of the alfalfa. The obtained data indicate that the spring soil sampling is more appropriate for the estimation of the M. hapla population density in the red clover precrop soil. The legume precrop soil had a limiting effect on tomato growth and fruit yield. The nematode population negatively influenced tomato growth. The experiment revealed that tomato plants could be planted in alfalfa precrop soil following at least three years of continuous alfalfa cultivation. The same cannot be said of the cultivation of red clover as a precrop for tomatoes. Full article
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Review

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Review
Mushroom Phorid Flies—A Review
Agronomy 2021, 11(10), 1958; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11101958 - 29 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 796
Abstract
Diptera are among the most serious arthropod pests affecting mushroom crops. Phorid flies, especially Megaselia halterata, have traditionally been globally considered as a minor pest, although they are a very important problem on Spanish mushroom farms. The concerns with respect to the [...] Read more.
Diptera are among the most serious arthropod pests affecting mushroom crops. Phorid flies, especially Megaselia halterata, have traditionally been globally considered as a minor pest, although they are a very important problem on Spanish mushroom farms. The concerns with respect to the phorid fly populations have recently increased, notably jumping from being a minor to major pest in India, UK and the USA, where yield losses ranging between 10% and 40% were reported. This review updates and summarizes the available literature regarding mushroom phorid populations, stressing the natural distribution of phorids and their seasonal distribution, their biology within the growing substrates and the initial sources of infestation on mushroom farms. Moreover, the review also highlights the scarce available tools for their control and the current alternatives to chemical products. Full article
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Review
Difficulties in Potato Pest Control: The Case of Pyrethroids on Colorado Potato Beetle
Agronomy 2021, 11(10), 1920; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11101920 - 25 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 956
Abstract
Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata, CPB) is considered one of the most persistent crop pests because it is highly adaptable and can rapidly develop insecticide resistance. Nowadays, this beetle is resistant to over 54 different insecticides. In the absence of competitive [...] Read more.
Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata, CPB) is considered one of the most persistent crop pests because it is highly adaptable and can rapidly develop insecticide resistance. Nowadays, this beetle is resistant to over 54 different insecticides. In the absence of competitive alternatives, the answer of farmers to the high degree of pest adaptability is to increase the number of pesticide treatments or apply chemicals with different modes of action. Such a strategy increases the risk of intoxication in non-target organisms and leads to environmental pollution, augmenting the carbon footprint. Furthermore, these strategies are also unsustainable and inefficient for pest management in the long-term. The time has thus come to reform existing agriculture practices, for which the implementation of an integrated pest management strategy would be a more feasible tool. Applying a sustainable pest management strategy is indispensable for a better understanding of the status and mechanisms of insecticide resistance. Effective pest management requires monitoring the resistance of pests and developing a well-programmed pesticide treatment to simultaneously reduce the insecticide selection pressure and environmental pollution. In this context, here we present a review on the difficulties of potato pest control using as a case study the resistance of CPB to pyrethroids. Full article
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Review
Biology, Diversity, Detection and Management of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum Causing Vascular Wilt Disease of Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus): A Review
Agronomy 2021, 11(7), 1310; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11071310 - 27 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1606
Abstract
Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum (Fon) is the causative agent of Fusarium wilt disease of watermelon; it is the most serious soil-borne pathogen around the globe. The yield loss is around 30–80% or even more, and is presently a major hindrance to watermelon [...] Read more.
Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum (Fon) is the causative agent of Fusarium wilt disease of watermelon; it is the most serious soil-borne pathogen around the globe. The yield loss is around 30–80% or even more, and is presently a major hindrance to watermelon cultivation worldwide. Initially, the infected watermelon plant shows symptoms like loss of turgor pressure of the leaves and vines that can be recovered at night. The progress of the disease in contaminated transplants turns into dull green to yellow and finally necrotic. When the fungus continues to colonize the xylem vessel, it usually forms more tyloses, finally limiting water movement and causing wilt. The correct identification of the pathogen is necessary for proper disease control. As such, the selection of a molecular marker could serve as an effective means of screening the pathogen. Additionally, different methods have also been reported for the identification of Fon. Therefore, this review focused on the comprehensive description of the biology, diversity, detection, aggressiveness, mycotoxin production, and eco-friendly management strategies of the Fusarium wilt disease of watermelon. Full article
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