Special Issue "Control of Postharvest Pathogenic Penicillium"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Paloma Sánchez-Torres
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Food Biotechnology, Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology, IATA-CSIC, Avda. Catedrático Agustín Escardino, 7 - 46980 Paterna [Valencia], Spain
Interests: Penicillium spp.; postharvest; fungal control; fungicide resistance; virulence/pathogenesis; signal transduction pathways; host–pathogen interaction; synthetic biology
Prof. Dr. Mónica Gandía Gómez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Food Science, Bromatology, Toxicology and Legal Medicine, Universitat de València, Vicente Andrés Estellés s/n, Burjassot, 46100-Valencia, Spain
Interests: Penicillium spp., postharvest; fungal control; virulence/pathogenesis; cell wall; antimicrobial peptides; antifungal proteins; fungal cell factories; synthetic biology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fungi belonging to the Penicillium genus are a major threat to the global citrus and pome fruit industry, causing high economic losses. Within this genus, it is worth highlighting Penicillium digitatum, Penicillium italicum and Penicillium expansum. These fungi negatively affect fruit quality, thus reducing the consumption of fresh fruit and contributing significantly to food loss. Some of them also produce mycotoxins that are negative to human health. Management options are limited due to fungicide-resistant Penicillium species. This makes disease control difficult, which is cause for concern and increases the need for new compounds and target discovery. Therefore, new approaches and tools are required to combat Penicillium pathogens during storage.

A complex interplay exists between antifungal resistance and virulence expressed by pathogenic fungi. Antifungals currently used on the market are limited, when compared to antibacterials. Comparative genomic and transcriptomic studies have indicated several new potential antifungal targets, which are currently under analysis. Among those, factors involved in virulence and pathogenesis could provide new insights for the development of novel compounds, such as antifungal proteins or peptides.

This Special Issue will focus on the different approaches developed to control pathogenic Penicillium during postharvest to avoid antifungal drug resistance mechanisms and on potential new target strategies to control fungal infections based on virulence factors and signal transduction pathways underlying the control of infection mechanisms.

Dr. Paloma Sánchez-Torres
Prof. Dr. Mónica Gandía Gómez
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 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

  • Control of Penicillium during postharvest
  • Biocontrol
  • Antifungal proteins and peptides
  • Fungicide resistance
  • Virulence/pathogenesis
  • Signal transduction pathways
  • Host–pathogen interaction
  • Effectors

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Potential of Antifungal Proteins (AFPs) to Control Penicillium Postharvest Fruit Decay
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060449 - 04 Jun 2021
Viewed by 625
Abstract
Penicillium phytopathogenic species provoke severe postharvest disease and economic losses. Penicillium expansum is the main pome fruit phytopathogen while Penicillium digitatum and Penicillium italicum cause citrus green and blue mold, respectively. Control strategies rely on the use of synthetic fungicides, but the appearance [...] Read more.
Penicillium phytopathogenic species provoke severe postharvest disease and economic losses. Penicillium expansum is the main pome fruit phytopathogen while Penicillium digitatum and Penicillium italicum cause citrus green and blue mold, respectively. Control strategies rely on the use of synthetic fungicides, but the appearance of resistant strains and safety concerns have led to the search for new antifungals. Here, the potential application of different antifungal proteins (AFPs) including the three Penicillium chrysogenum proteins (PAF, PAFB and PAFC), as well as the Neosartorya fischeri NFAP2 protein to control Penicillium decay, has been evaluated. PAFB was the most potent AFP against P. digitatum, P. italicum and P. expansum, PAFC and NFAP2 showed moderate antifungal activity, whereas PAF was the least active protein. In fruit protection assays, PAFB provoked a reduction of the incidence of infections caused by P. digitatum and P. italicum in oranges and by P. expansum in apples. A combination of AFPs did not result in an increase in the efficacy of disease control. In conclusion, this study expands the antifungal inhibition spectrum of the AFPs evaluated, and demonstrates that AFPs act in a species-specific manner. PAFB is a promising alternative compound to control Penicillium postharvest fruit decay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control of Postharvest Pathogenic Penicillium)
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Article
Citronellal Exerts Its Antifungal Activity by Targeting Ergosterol Biosynthesis in Penicillium digitatum
J. Fungi 2021, 7(6), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7060432 - 29 May 2021
Viewed by 672
Abstract
Ergosterol (ERG) is a potential target for the development of antifungal agents against Penicillium digitatum, the pathogen of green mold in citrus fruits. This study examined the mechanism by which citronellal, a typical terpenoid of Cymbopogon nardus essential oil, acts on ergosterol [...] Read more.
Ergosterol (ERG) is a potential target for the development of antifungal agents against Penicillium digitatum, the pathogen of green mold in citrus fruits. This study examined the mechanism by which citronellal, a typical terpenoid of Cymbopogon nardus essential oil, acts on ergosterol to exhibit its antifungal activity against P. digitatum. We previously reported that citronellal inhibited the growth of P. digitatum with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) of 1.36 and 2.72 mg/mL, respectively. In citronellal-treated cells, the membrane integrity and ergosterol contents significantly decreased, whereas lanosterol, which serves as a precursor for ergosterol biosynthesis, massively accumulated. Addition of 150 mg/L of exogenous ergosterol decreased the inhibitory rate of citronellal, restoring the ergosterol content and hence the membrane structure to normal levels, and triggered expression of nearly all ERG genes. Based on our findings, we deduce that citronellal damages the cell membrane integrity of P. digitatum by down-regulating the ERG genes responsible for conversion of lanosterol to ergosterol, the key downregulated gene being ERG3, due to the observed accumulation of ergosta-7,22-dienol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control of Postharvest Pathogenic Penicillium)
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