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: 30 August 2021.

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

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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 1800 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 (4 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

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 1 | Viewed by 542
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
Viewed by 344
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 354
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
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
Viewed by 525
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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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Evaluation of hand-washing and hand sanitiser performance at eliminating Lecanicillium fungicola conidia, a pathogen causing dry bubble disease on mushroom farms.
Authors: Brian McGuinness; Elodie Baqué; Helen M. Grogan
Affiliation: Horticulture Development Department, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15, DK15 KN3K, Ireland; École Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie et des Industries Alimentaires; Avenue de la Forét de Haye, BP 172 – F-54505, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy cedex, France.
Abstract: Hand-washing with two liquid soaps and hand-disinfection with two alcohol-based-hand-sanitisers (ABHSs) were evaluated for their ability to prevent transmission of viable conidia of mushroom pathogen Lecanicillium fungicola from a contaminated finger. Viable conidia were present after 100 fingerprint impressions with both soaps, after 10, 20 and 30 seconds of hand-washing time. ABHS 1 reduced viable L. fungicola colonies from fingerprints to <100, <10 and < 1 on average after 10, 20 and 30 s hand-rubbing time. An invitro test determined the Log10 reduction after 1 min contact time was £ 0.15 for the soaps and > 4.5 for the ABHSs.

Title: Reclamation of Rhizobacteria Isolated in The Central Highland of Vietnam as Potential Biocontrol Agents of Robusta Coffee Nematodes and Bio-fertilizer
Authors: Van Bon Nguyen1,2, Thi Hanh Nguyen3, Dai Nam Nguyen3, Anh Dzung Nguyen2, Thi Huyen Nguyen2, Van Anh Ngo2, Chien Thang Doan3, Thi Ngoc Tran3, Van Chung Do4, and San-Lang Wang5,6,*
Affiliation: 1 Institute of Research and Development, Duy Tan University, Danang 550000, Vietnam; [email protected] (V.B.N.) 2 Institute of Biotechnology and Environment, Tay Nguyen University, Buon Ma Thuot 630000, Vietnam; [email protected] (A.D.N); [email protected] (T.-H.N); [email protected] (V.A.N) 3 Department of Science and Technology, Tay Nguyen University, Buon Ma Thuot 630000, Vietnam; [email protected] (T.H.N); [email protected] (D.N.N); [email protected] (C.T.D); [email protected] (T.P.H.T) 4 Division of Agro-Forestry System, Western Highlands Agriculture and Forestry ScientificInstitute, Buon Ma Thuot 630000, Vietnam; [email protected] (V.C.D) 5 Department of Chemistry, Tamkang University, New Taipei City 25137, Taiwan; [email protected] (S.-L.W) 6 Life Science Development Center, Tamkang University, New Taipei City 25137, Taiwan
Abstract: Robusta coffee is a major crop in the Central Highland of Vietnam with high economic and export value. However, this crop has been affected by various pathogens including nematodes. The aim of this work is to screen the active anti-nematodes rhizobacterial strains for stainable coffee pro-duction. Among more than 200 isolates, 3 strains demonstrated potency in biocontrol of coffee Nematodes with approximate 100% mortality. These strains were identified based on sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene. In greenhouse tests, the strain TUN03 signifi-cantly reduced coffee nematodes in the rhizome-soil with inhibition values of 83.23% and show-ing plant promoting effects. Notably, this bacterium was found as a novel coffee anti-nematodes strain. In addition, TUN03 strain was found secreting plant promotion enhancers such as IAA, pyocyanin, and some enzymes related to anti-nematodes activity as well as its phos-phate-solubilizing and nitrogen-fixing. The result in this study suggested that TUN03 strain is po-tentially used as an effective anti-nematodes agent and bio-fertilizer with multi beneficial func-tions for stainable robusta coffee production and other crops.

Title: The microflora of maize grains as a biological barrier against the late wilt causal agent - Magnaporthiopsis maydis
Authors: Ofir Degani1,2,*, Shlomit Dor1,2 and Danielle Regev1,2
Affiliation: 1 MIGAL – Galilee Research Institute, 2 Tarshish St., Kiryat Shmona 11016, Israel; [email protected] (SD); [email protected] (D.R.) 2 Faculty of Sciences, Tel-Hai College, Upper Galilee, Tel-Hai 12210, Israel
Abstract: The maize pathogen Magnaporthiopsis maydis causes severe damage to commercial fields in the late stages of growth (near harvest time). 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 pathogen M. maydis has an endo-phytic hidden 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 an opportun-ist and attack the host in exceptional cases when conditions encourage it. This work aims at stud-ying the pathogen’s interactions with the maize endophytes (which may play a part in the plant’s resistance factors). For this purpose, 78 fungal and bacteria endophytes were isolated from 15 sweet corn cultivars with varying susceptibility to the late wilt disease. Of these, eight endophytes (six species of fungi and two 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 hy-brid) infected with the M. maydis pathogen. After 42 days, four of the endophytes significantly (P < 0.05) improved the infected plants’ growth indices. The most beneficial endophytes in protecting the plants against the pathogen were the fungi Trichoderma asperellum and Chaetomium sp. The fungal species T. asperellum and Penicillium citrinum, and the bacteria Bacillus subtilis treatments reduced the amount of 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 to-wards developing new measures to control the disease. Such an environmentally-friendly control interface will be based on strengthening the plants’ microbiome.

Title: Attempts to minimize the occurrence of a new emergent pathogen (Syzygites megalocarpus) on Agaricus bisporus cultivation system
Authors: Fabricio Rocha Vieira1, John Gilmer De Soto2, John Andrew Pecchia1, David Beyer1
Affiliation: 1 The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology. 2 University of Georgia, Department of Natural Sciences
Abstract: Agaricus bisporus is the most cultivated mushroom in western countries and greatly contributes to the economics of the horticultural sector of these regions. Like most of the horticultural systems, A. bisporus cultivation is susceptible to harmful microorganisms, i.e., ‘pathogens’, which cause losses in yield, quality, and profitability. The current report brings to the attention a new disease named ‘web mold’ which is caused by Syzygites megalocarpus, a filamentous fungus that belongs to a monotypic genus in the Mucoromycota. Their detection on A. bisporus farms in the United States has been increasing since its first appearance in 2011 become a concern for the industry and for the research community. With limited information about the biology and epidemiology of the new pathogen due to the lack of available literature information, we set up a series of in vitro and in vivo trials to evaluates some of the current pest management practices used by the A. bisporus industry including heating treatment, fungicides, and disinfectants. Heating exposure showed that spores of S. megalocarpus can be inactivated with lower temperatures comparing with other pathogens, e.g., green mold disease caused by Trichoderma aggressivum. Temperatures between 35-40°C were able to inactivate spore germination in vitro. Among the fungicides registered for use in A. bisporus crops, chlorothalonil appears to minimize mycelial growth in vitro. For disinfectants, phenol-based products showed an inhibitory effect against spores’ germination in vitro tests. In vivo trials showed that brown strains of A. bisporus are more susceptible to S. megalocarpus than white-off strains. We hope that the results highlighted in the current work will provide some guidance for the farms in controlling this pathogen as well as to the research community looking further for improvements in controlling the web mold disease.

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