Soil Fungi and Their Role in Plant Growth

A special issue of Journal of Fungi (ISSN 2309-608X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 June 2024) | Viewed by 1577

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Pathogen Genetics and Plant Resistance, Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan, Poland
Interests: plant pathology; plant pathogens; plant resistance; fungi; aerobiology; agriculture
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Guest Editor
Institute of Agrophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, 20-290 Lublin, Poland
Interests: soil microbiomes and mycobiomes; plant holobiont; soil health and quality; soil–plant–microbial interactions; environmental microbiology; agricultural microbiology; fungal ecology; microbial biodiversity; mycology; agricultural biotechnology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soil is inhabited by numerous fungal species which play different roles, sometimes known to us and sometimes research is needed to understand their position in the network of complicated interactions observed in a living soil. Some fungi have a negative impact on wild or cultivated plants. They occupy plant root systems and may subsequently invade upper plant parts, decreasing plant growth, yield and quality. Their role as a plant pathogen may be partially known but is yet to be fully discovered. On the other hand, there are numerous fungi with beneficial roles in plants. They may improve plant growth directly or indirectly by increasing soil health and quality via interactions with the other soil organisms. In this Special Issue, we would like to show the different roles of fungi present in soil in relation to plant growth and health. They can be good, bad or ugly. The main interest of this Special Issue focuses on the role of soil fungi for plant growth, both being pathogenic (decreasing plant growth, causing plant diseases) and beneficial (promoting plant growth in many ways, including mycorrhiza). New tools available in mycological studies enable the elucidation of the role of fungi in microbe–plant interactions (in our Special Issue we put fungi in the first place!). We are inviting manuscripts about soil fungi and their role in plant growth at the environmental, organismal, tissue, cell and molecular levels.

This Special Issue of the Journal of Fungi will present state-of-the-art reviews and research articles on the topic of Soil Fungi and Their Role in Plant Growth.

On this occasion, we would like to draw your attention to the Special Issue of Agronomy entitled "Crop Plants: Losses and Benefits Caused by Soil Fungi". This SI of Agronomy focuses on crop plants, and analyses plant–soil fungi interaction from the plant perspective, whereas the other SI in the JoF focuses on the activities of soil fungi.

Prof. Dr. Malgorzata Jedryczka
Prof. Dr. Magdalena Frąc
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. Journal of Fungi 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 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

  • soil fungi
  • fungi–plant interactions
  • soil pathogenic fungi
  • soil beneficial fungi
  • mycorrhiza
  • plant growth
  • plant health

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 3024 KiB  
Article
Plant Growth Promotion and Biological Control against Rhizoctonia solani in Thai Local Rice Variety “Chor Khing” Using Trichoderma breve Z2-03
by Warin Intana, Nakarin Suwannarach, Jaturong Kumla, Prisana Wonglom and Anurag Sunpapao
J. Fungi 2024, 10(6), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10060417 - 11 Jun 2024
Viewed by 339
Abstract
Several strains of Trichoderma are applied in the field to control plant diseases due to their capacity to suppress fungal pathogens and control plant diseases. Some Trichoderma strains also are able to promote plant growth through the production of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). In [...] Read more.
Several strains of Trichoderma are applied in the field to control plant diseases due to their capacity to suppress fungal pathogens and control plant diseases. Some Trichoderma strains also are able to promote plant growth through the production of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). In southern Thailand, the local rice variety “Chor Khing” is mainly cultivated in the Songkhla province; it is characterized by slow growth and is susceptible to sheath blight caused by Rhizoctonia solani. Therefore, this research aimed to screen Trichoderma species with the ability to promote plant growth in this rice variety and enact biological control against R. solani. A total of 21 Trichoderma isolates were screened for indole compound production using the Salkowski reagent. The Z2-03 isolate reacted positively to the Salkowski reagent, indicating the production of the indole compound. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPCL) confirmed that Z2-03 produced IAA at 35.58 ± 7.60 μg/mL. The cell-free culture filtrate of the potato dextrose broth (CF) of Z2-03 induced rice germination in rice seeds, yielding root and shoot lengths in cell-free CF-treated rice that were significantly higher than those of the control (distilled water and culture broth alone). Furthermore, inoculation with Trichoderma conidia promoted rice growth and induced a defense response against R. solani during the seedling stage. Trichoderma Z2-03 displayed an antifungal capacity against R. solani, achieving 74.17% inhibition (as measured through dual culture assay) and the production of siderophores on the CAS medium. The pot experiment revealed that inoculation with the Trichoderma sp. Z2-03 conidial suspension increased the number of tillers and the plant height in the “Chor Khing” rice variety, and suppressed the percentage of disease incidence (PDI). The Trichoderma isolate Z2-03 was identified, based on the morphology and molecular properties of ITS, translation elongation factor 1-alpha (tef1-α), and RNA polymerase 2 (rpb2), as Trichoderma breve Z2-03. Our results reveal the ability of T. breve Z2-03 to act as a plant growth promoter, enhancing growth and development in the “Chor Khing” rice variety, as well as a biological control agent through its competition and defense induction mechanism in this rice variety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Fungi and Their Role in Plant Growth)
19 pages, 2099 KiB  
Article
Age-Related Conservation in Plant–Soil Feedback Accompanied by Ectomycorrhizal Domination in Temperate Forests in Northeast China
by Zhen Bai, Ji Ye, Shu-Fang Liu, Hai-Hong Sun, Zuo-Qiang Yuan, Zi-Kun Mao, Shuai Fang, Shao-Fen Long and Xu-Gao Wang
J. Fungi 2024, 10(5), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10050310 - 24 Apr 2024
Viewed by 832
Abstract
This study investigates the effects of forest aging on ectomycorrhizal (EcM) fungal community and foraging behavior and their interactions with plant–soil attributes. We explored EcM fungal communities and hyphal exploration types via rDNA sequencing and investigated their associations with plant–soil traits by comparing [...] Read more.
This study investigates the effects of forest aging on ectomycorrhizal (EcM) fungal community and foraging behavior and their interactions with plant–soil attributes. We explored EcM fungal communities and hyphal exploration types via rDNA sequencing and investigated their associations with plant–soil traits by comparing younger (~120 years) and older (~250 years) temperate forest stands in Northeast China. The results revealed increases in the EcM fungal richness and abundance with forest aging, paralleled by plant–soil feedback shifting from explorative to conservative nutrient use strategies. In the younger stands, Tomentella species were prevalent and showed positive correlations with nutrient availability in both the soil and leaves, alongside rapid increases in woody productivity. However, the older stands were marked by the dominance of the genera Inocybe, Hymenogaster, and Otidea which were significantly and positively correlated with soil nutrient contents and plant structural attributes such as the community-weighted mean height and standing biomass. Notably, the ratios of longer-to-shorter distance EcM fungal exploration types tended to decrease along with forest aging. Our findings underscore the integral role of EcM fungi in the aging processes of temperate forests, highlighting the EcM symbiont-mediated mechanisms adapting to nutrient scarcity and promoting sustainability in plant–soil consortia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Fungi and Their Role in Plant Growth)
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