Special Issue "Biological Control in Forests Protection"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (3 June 2022) | Viewed by 6505

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Justyna A. Nowakowska
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Guest Editor
Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, Wóycickiego 1/3 Street, 01-938 Warsaw, Poland
Interests: molecular biology; molecular genetics; forestry; forensic sciences; biotechnology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Lassaâd Belbahri
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Soil Biology, Department of Biology, University of Neuchatel, 2000 Neuchatel, Switzerland
Interests: molecular and cellular biology; plant physiology; plant biotechnology; applied plant biotechnology; molecular biology; genetic tools used in ecology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Tomasz Oszako
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Forest Protection, Forest Research Institute in Sękocin Stary, Braci Leśnej 3, 05-090 Raszyn, Poland
Interests: forest protection; plant pathology; oomycetes; biodiversity; e-nose; BCA; IPM; VOC; GC-MS; phosphites; phosphogipsum; silicon
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biological control of forest plant material becomes an imperative in regard of EU regulations on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) requiring a search for alternative plant protection methods that are safe for humans, animals and the environment. The objective of this Special Issue in Forests is to summarize state-of-art knowledge on Forest Tree Protection by exploring biocontrol measures undertaken in biological pest and disease control, physiology and behaviour of biocontrol agents and their interaction with hosts, genetic improvement of natural enemies including genetic manipulation, environmental impact studies and the role of biocontrol methods in integrated forest protection. Original research papers and review articles in forest organisms trees related with BCA, including plant physiology approaches (from classical physiology to molecular techniques of identification and genome editing CRISPR/Cas9), are welcome.

Dr. Justyna A. Nowakowska
Dr. Lassaâd Belbahri
Prof. Tomasz Oszako
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Forests 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

  • BCA
  • forest trees
  • pathogens
  • insects
  • nematodes
  • genetic engineering

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Use of Secondary Metabolites of Wood-Decaying Fungi to Reduce Damping off Disease
Forests 2022, 13(8), 1208; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13081208 - 01 Aug 2022
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Phytopathogenic fungi can cause plant diseases that are difficult to control, including mass mortality of some tree species. The Fusarium oxysporum complex (sensu lato) is one of the most dangerous groups of phytopathogenic fungi, causing the death of conifer species, including [...] Read more.
Phytopathogenic fungi can cause plant diseases that are difficult to control, including mass mortality of some tree species. The Fusarium oxysporum complex (sensu lato) is one of the most dangerous groups of phytopathogenic fungi, causing the death of conifer species, including Pinus sylvestris seedlings in forest and ornamental nurseries. Recently, non-chemical methods of plant protection have become the basis of integrated pest management (IPM) in the European Union (EC Directive). The possibility of protection of pine seedlings against the pathogen F. oxysporum using active substances from wood-destroying fungi commonly found in forests was examined. Methanolic extracts of Fomitopsis pinicola, Ganoderma applanatum, and Trametes versicolor were found to contain substances effective in both prevention and treatment of infected seedlings. G. applanatum and T. versicolor showed particular biological activity in increasing plant resistance. Efficacy, especially of the extract of F. pinicola, increased with concentration. Further field trials are needed to confirm the results obtained in laboratory tests on plant protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control in Forests Protection)
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Article
Biocontrol of Phytophthora xcambivora on Castanea sativa: Selection of Local Trichoderma spp. Isolates for the Management of Ink Disease
Forests 2022, 13(7), 1065; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13071065 - 06 Jul 2022
Viewed by 507
Abstract
Ink disease is a devastating disease of chestnut (Castanea sativa) worldwide, caused by Phytophthora species. The only management measures of this disease are chemical and agronomic interventions. This work focuses on the evaluation of the in vitro antagonistic capacity of 20 [...] Read more.
Ink disease is a devastating disease of chestnut (Castanea sativa) worldwide, caused by Phytophthora species. The only management measures of this disease are chemical and agronomic interventions. This work focuses on the evaluation of the in vitro antagonistic capacity of 20 isolates of Trichoderma spp. selected in a diseased chestnut orchard in Tuscan Apennines (San Godenzo, Italy) for the biocontrol of Phytophthora xcambivora. Each Trichoderma isolate was tested to investigate pathogen inhibition capability by antagonism in dual cultures and antibiosis by secondary metabolites production (diffusible and Volatile Organic Compounds). The six most performing isolates of Trichoderma spp. were further assessed for their aptitude to synthesize chitinase, glucanase and cellulase, and to act as mycoparasite. All six selected isolates displayed the capability to control the pathogen in vitro by synergistically coupling antibiosis and mycoparasitism at different levels regardless of the species they belong to, but rather, in relation to specific features of the single genotypes. In particular, T. hamatum SG18 and T. koningiopsis SG6 displayed the most promising results in pathogen inhibition, thus further investigations are needed to confirm their in vivo efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control in Forests Protection)
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Article
Loss of Gramicidin Biosynthesis in Gram-Positive Biocontrol Bacterium Aneurinibacillus migulanus (Takagi et al., 1993) Shida et al. 1996 Emend Heyndrickx et al., 1997 Nagano Impairs Its Biological Control Ability of Phytophthora
Forests 2022, 13(4), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13040535 - 30 Mar 2022
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Abstract
The soil-borne species Aneurinibacillus migulanus (A. migulanus) strains Nagano and NCTC 7096 were shown to be potent biocontrol agents active against several plant diseases in agricultural and forest ecosystems. Both strains produce the cyclic peptide gramicidin S (GS) that was described as the [...] Read more.
The soil-borne species Aneurinibacillus migulanus (A. migulanus) strains Nagano and NCTC 7096 were shown to be potent biocontrol agents active against several plant diseases in agricultural and forest ecosystems. Both strains produce the cyclic peptide gramicidin S (GS) that was described as the main weapon inhibiting some gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria and fungus-like organisms along with the production of biosurfactant and hemolysis activities. However, the contribution of the cyclic peptide gramicidin S (GS) to the biocontrol ability of A. migulanus has never been studied experimentally. In this paper, using a mutant of the A. migulanus Nagano strain (E1 mutant) impaired in GS biosynthesis we evaluated the contribution of GS in the biocontrol potential of A. migulanus against Phytophthora spp. The two strains of A. migulanus, Nagano and NCTC 7096, were tested in a pilot study for the inhibition of the growth of 13 Phytophthora species in dual culture assays. A. migulanus Nagano was significantly more inhibitory than NCTC 7096 to all species. Additionally, using apple infection assays, P. rosacearum MKDF-148 and P. cryptogea E2 were shown to be the most aggressive on apple fruits displaying clear infection halos. Therefore, the three A. migulanus strains, Nagano, NCTC 7096, and E1, were used in apple infection experiments to check their effect on infection ability of these two Phytophthora species. Treatment with A. migulanus Nagano significantly reduced the severity of symptoms in apple fruits compared with NCTC 7096. A. migulanus E1 mutant showed total loss of biocontrol ability suggesting that GS is a major actor in the biocontrol ability of A. migulanus Nagano strain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control in Forests Protection)
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Article
Comparative Transcriptome Analysis of Two Populations of Dastarcus helophoroides (Fairmaire) under High Temperature Stress
Forests 2022, 13(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13010013 - 22 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 873
Abstract
The differentially expressed genes (DEGs), key genes and metabolic pathways of the parasitic beetle, Dastarcus helophoroides (Fairmaire), were compared between the fiftieth commercially reared population and the first natural population to reveal the adaptive mechanism in response to high temperature stress. The high-throughput [...] Read more.
The differentially expressed genes (DEGs), key genes and metabolic pathways of the parasitic beetle, Dastarcus helophoroides (Fairmaire), were compared between the fiftieth commercially reared population and the first natural population to reveal the adaptive mechanism in response to high temperature stress. The high-throughput sequencing technique was employed for transcriptome sequencing of two populations of D. helophoroides. In total, 47,763 non-redundant transcripts with the average length of 989.31 bp and the N50 of 1607 bp were obtained. Under high temperature stress, 1108 DEGs were found in the commercial population; while there were 3946 DEGs in the natural population, which were higher than those in the commercial population (3.56 times). High temperature stress of D. helophoroides promoted the expression of heat shock proteins (HSPs) and metabolism-related genes in both populations, but metabolism synthesis and hydrolysis of natural population was much higher, allowing them to produce more resistant substances (such as HSPs, superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxiredoxin (Prx), etc.). Therefore, HSPs may play a major role in the high temperature adaptation of a commercial population, while the natural population probably respond to heat stress with more resistant substances (such as HSPs, SOD, Prx, etc.). These results provide a reference to select and domesticate a specific ecotype with stronger adaptability to the high temperature weather in the forest and further improve the efficiency of D. helophoroides as a bio-control factor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control in Forests Protection)
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Article
First Report of Entomopathogenic Fungi Occurrence in Forest Soils in Croatia
Forests 2021, 12(12), 1690; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12121690 - 02 Dec 2021
Viewed by 614
Abstract
Entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) in Croatian forests are known only from observations of insect cadavers that show obvious signs of disease. To date, their presence in soils has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate their occurrence, diversity, and distribution, [...] Read more.
Entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) in Croatian forests are known only from observations of insect cadavers that show obvious signs of disease. To date, their presence in soils has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate their occurrence, diversity, and distribution, and to assess their density in tested soils. Soil samples were collected during 2018, 2019, and 2020 at different localities throughout the country, and analyzed by using a method of isolation of fungi on selective culture media. To assess the density of EPF in tested soils, colonies of individual fungal species were counted and recorded; the results were expressed as the number of colony-forming units (CFU) per gram of dry soil. After morphological and molecular analysis, five entomopathogenic fungal genera were identified: Beauveria spp., Metarhizium spp., Purpureocillium spp., Lecanicillium spp., and Paecilomyces spp. Results also showed that the range of a total EPF colony density in the soil varies from 4 × 103 to 27.4 × 103 CFU g−1. The most common were EPF of the genus Beauveria, which were recorded at four of five locations, and at 16 of 25 sampling points, but the highest average number (density) of colonies belonged to the genus Metarhizium. Since this type of research was never conducted in Croatia previously, this is the first evidence that insect pathogenic fungi are present in soils of different natural forest habitats. Such research can be useful in selecting and utilizing entomopathogens that are suitable for biological pest control in certain target areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control in Forests Protection)
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Communication
Invasive vs. Invasive, Parthenium hysterophorus as a Bio-Control Agent against Invasive Mealybugs
Forests 2021, 12(7), 936; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12070936 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 619
Abstract
Parthenium hysterophorus has an antagonistic potential against mealybugs, which are hosted on wild Dalbergia sissoo. In the current study, an aqueous extract of Parthenium was evaluated against mealybugs on Dalbergia sissoo. A serial dose of 12.5, 25, 50, 100, 200, and [...] Read more.
Parthenium hysterophorus has an antagonistic potential against mealybugs, which are hosted on wild Dalbergia sissoo. In the current study, an aqueous extract of Parthenium was evaluated against mealybugs on Dalbergia sissoo. A serial dose of 12.5, 25, 50, 100, 200, and 500 µg/mL of aqueous extract was prepared from all parts of the Parthenium plant. After 72 h at high doses, 200 µg/mL and 500 µg/mL aqueous extracts had high mortality of 76.67% and 73.33% via the residual method, respectively. Meanwhile at same dose after 72 h, the contact method had higher mortality percentages of 80% and 80% at 200 µg/mL and 500 µg/mL, respectively. After 48 h at a high dose (200 µg/mL and 500 µg/mL), the mortality of the mealybugs was highest via the contact method. The results show a mortality of 73.33% with both doses. Meanwhile the same doses, via the contact method, after 48 h had a 63.33% mortality rate. After 24 h via the contact method, at 200 µg/mL and 500 µg/mL the mortality of mealybug was 70% with both doses, whereas via the mortality rate via the residual method at 200 µg/mL and 500 µg/mL doses was 56.67% and 66.67%, respectively. These results indicate that Parthenium is a strong bio-control agent against mealybugs. Aqueous extracts could lead to a cost effective and environmentally friendly insecticidal for sustainable use in large scale forestry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control in Forests Protection)
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Review

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Review
Bacillus velezensis: A Treasure House of Bioactive Compounds of Medicinal, Biocontrol and Environmental Importance
Forests 2021, 12(12), 1714; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12121714 - 06 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1144
Abstract
Bacillus velezensis gram-positive bacterium, is frequently isolated from diverse niches mainly soil, water, plant roots, and fermented foods. B. velezensis is ubiquitous, non-pathogenic and endospore forming. Being frequently isolated from diverse plant holobionts it is considered host adapted microorganism and recognized of high [...] Read more.
Bacillus velezensis gram-positive bacterium, is frequently isolated from diverse niches mainly soil, water, plant roots, and fermented foods. B. velezensis is ubiquitous, non-pathogenic and endospore forming. Being frequently isolated from diverse plant holobionts it is considered host adapted microorganism and recognized of high economic importance given its ability to promote plant growth under diverse biotic and abiotic stress conditions. Additionally, the species suppress many plant diseases, including bacterial, oomycete, and fungal diseases. It is also able after plant host root colonization to induce unique physiological situation of host plant called primed state. Primed host plants are able to respond more rapidly and/or effectively to biotic or abiotic stress. Moreover, B. velezenis have the ability to resist diverse environmental stresses and help host plants to cope with, including metal and xenobiotic stresses. Within species B. velezensis strains have unique abilities allowing them to adopt different life styles. Strain level abilities knowledge is warranted and could be inferred using the ever-expanding new genomes list available in genomes databases. Pangenome analysis and subsequent identification of core, accessory and unique genomes is actually of paramount importance to decipher species full metabolic capacities and fitness across diverse environmental conditions shaping its life style. Despite the crucial importance of the pan genome, its assessment among large number of strains remains sparse and systematic studies still needed. Extensive knowledge of the pan genome is needed to translate genome sequencing efforts into developing more efficient biocontrol agents and bio-fertilizers. In this study, a genome survey of B. velezensis allowed us to (a) highlight B. velezensis species boundaries and show that Bacillus suffers taxonomic imprecision that blurs the debate over species pangenome; (b) identify drivers of their successful acquisition of specific life styles and colonization of new niches; (c) describe strategies they use to promote plant growth and development; (d) reveal the unlocked strain specific orphan secondary metabolite gene clusters (biosynthetic clusters with corresponding metabolites unknown) that product identification is still awaiting to amend our knowledge of their putative role in suppression of pathogens and plant growth promotion, and (e) to describe a dynamic pangenome with a secondary metabolite rich accessory genome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control in Forests Protection)
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Review
The Threat of Pests and Pathogens and the Potential for Biological Control in Forest Ecosystems
Forests 2021, 12(11), 1579; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12111579 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 933
Abstract
Forests are an essential component of the natural environment, as they support biodiversity, sequester carbon, and play a crucial role in biogeochemical cycles—in addition to producing organic matter that is necessary for the function of terrestrial organisms. Forests today are subject to threats [...] Read more.
Forests are an essential component of the natural environment, as they support biodiversity, sequester carbon, and play a crucial role in biogeochemical cycles—in addition to producing organic matter that is necessary for the function of terrestrial organisms. Forests today are subject to threats ranging from natural occurrences, such as lightning-ignited fires, storms, and some forms of pollution, to those caused by human beings, such as land-use conversion (deforestation or intensive agriculture). In recent years, threats from pests and pathogens, particularly non-native species, have intensified in forests. The damage, decline, and mortality caused by insects, fungi, pathogens, and combinations of pests can lead to sizable ecological, economic, and social losses. To combat forest pests and pathogens, biocontrol may be an effective alternative to chemical pesticides and fertilizers. This review of forest pests and potential adversaries in the natural world highlights microbial inoculants, as well as research efforts to further develop biological control agents against forest pests and pathogens. Recent studies have shown promising results for the application of microbial inoculants as preventive measures. Other studies suggest that these species have potential as fertilizers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control in Forests Protection)
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