Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Microbe Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 March 2023) | Viewed by 44369

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Centre of Molecular and Environmental Biology (CBMA), Department of Biology, University of Minho, Campus of Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Interests: plant-microbe interactions; soil microbial communities; mycorrhizae; microbial diversity
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Guest Editor
Mountain Research Centre (CIMO), Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal
Interests: plant microbiome; microbe-induced plant tolerance to stresses; endophyte; sustainable agriculture
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There are multiple ways that plants can interact with microbes. Many plant-microbe interactions result in beneficial outcomes for plant, but others can promote diseases or damages to plants and their products. In this regard, microbes can influence plant fitness, either directly by interacting with plants or indirectly through multitrophic interactions. In line with the emergence of omic technologies and with the advent of systems biology era, the understanding on microbes diversity (microbiota), function (microbiome), and interaction capacity with other organisms is rapidly increasing. Recent discoveries are changing our perception about plant microbial diversity and function, and new terms have been coined to introduce the essential role played by multiple microorganisms in plant function (‘holobiont’ for the whole diversity associated with a host organism; ‘metaorganism’ for the functions played by the holobiont).

In this Special issue of Microorganisms, we invite you to send contributions concerning any aspects related with the interaction of microbes with plants, including those related with the well-known plant microbe interactors (e.g., plant-growth-promoting bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi, endophytes, and epiphytes) and corresponding effects (e.g., for sustainable agriculture). The role of microbes and whole microbial communities for plant and ecosystem outcomes, the molecular aspects behind the interaction, as well as the exploitation of new technological approaches for understanding plant microbes interactions are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Teresa Lino-Neto
Prof. Dr. Paula Baptista
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • plant-microbe interaction
  • plant microbiota
  • plant microbiome
  • plant holobiont
  • mycorrhizae
  • plant growth promoting bacteria
  • endophyte
  • epiphyte
  • plant microbial communities

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 1799 KiB  
Article
Effects of Inbreeding on Microbial Community Diversity of Zea mays
by Corey R. Schultz, Matthew Johnson and Jason G. Wallace
Microorganisms 2023, 11(4), 879; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11040879 - 29 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1902
Abstract
Heterosis, also known as hybrid vigor, is the basis of modern maize production. The effect of heterosis on maize phenotypes has been studied for decades, but its effect on the maize-associated microbiome is much less characterized. To determine the effect of heterosis on [...] Read more.
Heterosis, also known as hybrid vigor, is the basis of modern maize production. The effect of heterosis on maize phenotypes has been studied for decades, but its effect on the maize-associated microbiome is much less characterized. To determine the effect of heterosis on the maize microbiome, we sequenced and compared the bacterial communities of inbred, open pollinated, and hybrid maize. Samples covered three tissue types (stalk, root, and rhizosphere) in two field experiments and one greenhouse experiment. Bacterial diversity was more affected by location and tissue type than genetic background for both within-sample (alpha) and between-sample (beta) diversity. PERMANOVA analysis similarly showed that tissue type and location had significant effects on the overall community structure, whereas the intraspecies genetic background and individual plant genotypes did not. Differential abundance analysis identified only 25 bacterial ASVs that significantly differed between inbred and hybrid maize. Predicted metagenome content was inferred with Picrust2, and it also showed a significantly larger effect of tissue and location than genetic background. Overall, these results indicate that the bacterial communities of inbred and hybrid maize are often more similar than they are different and that non-genetic effects are generally the largest influences on the maize microbiome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions)
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24 pages, 5189 KiB  
Article
Improving Grapevine Heat Stress Resilience with Marine Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria Consortia
by João Carreiras, Ana Cruz-Silva, Bruno Fonseca, Ricardo C. Carvalho, Jorge P. Cunha, João Proença Pereira, Catarina Paiva-Silva, Soraia A. Santos, Rodrigo Janeiro Sequeira, Enrique Mateos-Naranjo, Ignacio D. Rodríguez-Llorente, Eloísa Pajuelo, Susana Redondo-Gómez, Ana Rita Matos, Jennifer Mesa-Marín, Andreia Figueiredo and Bernardo Duarte
Microorganisms 2023, 11(4), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11040856 - 27 Mar 2023
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4918
Abstract
Amid climate change, heatwave events are expected to increase in frequency and severity. As a result, yield losses in viticulture due to heatwave stress have increased over the years. As one of the most important crops in the world, an eco-friendly stress mitigation [...] Read more.
Amid climate change, heatwave events are expected to increase in frequency and severity. As a result, yield losses in viticulture due to heatwave stress have increased over the years. As one of the most important crops in the world, an eco-friendly stress mitigation strategy is greatly needed. The present work aims to evaluate the physiological fitness improvement by two marine plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria consortia in Vitis vinifera cv. Antão Vaz under heatwave conditions. To assess the potential biophysical and biochemical thermal stress feedback amelioration, photochemical traits, pigment and fatty acid profiles, and osmotic and oxidative stress biomarkers were analysed. Bioaugmented grapevines exposed to heatwave stress presented a significantly enhanced photoprotection capability and higher thermo-stability, exhibiting a significantly lower dissipation energy flux than the non-inoculated plants. Additionally, one of the rhizobacterial consortia tested improved light-harvesting capabilities by increasing reaction centre availability and preserving photosynthetic efficiency. Rhizobacteria inoculation expressed an osmoprotectant promotion, revealed by the lower osmolyte concentration while maintaining leaf turgidity. Improved antioxidant mechanisms and membrane stability resulted in lowered lipid peroxidation product formation when compared to non-inoculated plants. Although the consortia were found to differ significantly in their effectiveness, these findings demonstrate that bioaugmentation induced significant heatwave stress tolerance and mitigation. This study revealed the promising usage of marine PGPR consortia to promote plant fitness and minimize heatwave impacts in grapevines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions)
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19 pages, 5024 KiB  
Article
A New Perspective for Vineyard Terroir Identity: Looking for Microbial Indicator Species by Long Read Nanopore Sequencing
by Ana Cruz-Silva, Gonçalo Laureano, Marcelo Pereira, Ricardo Dias, José Moreira da Silva, Nuno Oliveira, Catarina Gouveia, Cristina Cruz, Margarida Gama-Carvalho, Fiammetta Alagna, Bernardo Duarte and Andreia Figueiredo
Microorganisms 2023, 11(3), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11030672 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2284
Abstract
Grapevine is one of the most important fruit crops worldwide, being Portugal one of the top wine producers. It is well established that wine sensory characteristics from a particular region are defined by the physiological responses of the grapevine to its environment and [...] Read more.
Grapevine is one of the most important fruit crops worldwide, being Portugal one of the top wine producers. It is well established that wine sensory characteristics from a particular region are defined by the physiological responses of the grapevine to its environment and thus, the concept of terroir in viticulture was established. Among all the factors that contribute to terroir definition, soil microorganisms play a major role from nutrient recycling to a drastic influence on plant fitness (growth and protection) and of course wine production. Soil microbiome from four different terroirs in Quinta dos Murças vineyard was analysed through long-read Oxford Nanopore sequencing. We have developed an analytical pipeline that allows the identification of function, ecologies, and indicator species based on long read sequencing data. The Douro vineyard was used as a case study, and we were able to establish microbiome signatures of each terroir. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions)
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16 pages, 2102 KiB  
Article
Experimentally Induced Dieback Conditions Limit Phragmites australis Growth
by Wesley A. Bickford, Danielle S. Snow, McKenzie K. H. Smith, Kathryn L. Kingsley, James F. White and Kurt P. Kowalski
Microorganisms 2023, 11(3), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11030639 - 2 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1276
Abstract
Phragmites australis is a cosmopolitan grass species common in wetland ecosystems across the world. In much of North America, the non-native subspecies of Phragmites threatens wetland biodiversity, hinders recreation, and is a persistent problem for natural resource managers. In other parts of the [...] Read more.
Phragmites australis is a cosmopolitan grass species common in wetland ecosystems across the world. In much of North America, the non-native subspecies of Phragmites threatens wetland biodiversity, hinders recreation, and is a persistent problem for natural resource managers. In other parts of the world, populations are in decline, as Reed Die-Back Syndrome (RDBS) plagues some Phragmites stands in its native range. RDBS is defined by a clumped growth form, stunted root and shoot growth, premature senescence, and shoot death. RDBS has been associated with a build-up of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and altered bacterial and oomycete communities in soils, but the exact causes are unknown. To control invasive Phragmites populations, we sought to develop treatments that mimic the conditions of RDBS. We applied various SCFA treatments at various concentrations to mesocosm soils growing either Phragmites or native wetland plants. We found that the high-concentration SCFA treatments applied weekly induced strong significant declines in above- and belowground biomass of Phragmites. Declines were significant but slightly weaker in native species. In addition, soil bacterial abundance increased, diversity decreased, and bacterial community composition significantly differed following treatments, such that treated pots maintained a higher relative abundance of Pseudomonadaceae and fewer Acidobacteriaceae than untreated pots. Our results suggest that application of SCFAs to Phragmites can lead to stunted plants and altered soil bacterial communities similar to populations affected by RDBS. However, the lack of species-specificity and intensive application rate may not make this treatment ideal as a widespread management tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions)
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23 pages, 17040 KiB  
Article
Changes in Soil Phosphorus Availability and Microbial Community Structures in Rhizospheres of Oilseed Rapes Induced by Intercropping with White Lupins
by Siyu Chen, Da Yang, Yufei Wei, Lizhen He, Zujian Li and Shangdong Yang
Microorganisms 2023, 11(2), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11020326 - 28 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1893
Abstract
Oilseed rape is sensitive to soil phosphorus deficiencies. In contrast, white lupin is widely used as a model plant because it has efficient phosphorus utilization. Therefore, soil fertility and microbial composition in the rhizospheres of oilseed rapes and root exudate metabolites were compared [...] Read more.
Oilseed rape is sensitive to soil phosphorus deficiencies. In contrast, white lupin is widely used as a model plant because it has efficient phosphorus utilization. Therefore, soil fertility and microbial composition in the rhizospheres of oilseed rapes and root exudate metabolites were compared under monocropping and intercropping systems. The main purpose was to explore whether the phosphorus absorption of rapeseed can be promoted by intercropping with white lupine. In comparison with oilseed rape monoculture (RR), the results showed that the contents of soil-available phosphorus, microbial biomass and phosphorus in the rhizospheres of oilseed rapes in the intercropping system (RL) were all higher than those of RR. Meanwhile, in comparison with RR, not only phosphorus-solubilizing bacteria, such as Streptomyces, Actinomadura and Bacillus, but also phosphorus-solubilizing fungi, such as Chaetomium, Aspergillus, Penicillium, were enriched in the rhizospheres of the oilseed rape under the RL system. Moreover, more abundant soil bacterial functions, organic acids and metabolites were also detected in root exudates of the oilseed rapes under the RL system. All of the above results suggest that soil phosphorus availability in the rhizospheres of oilseed rape could be improved by intercropping with white lupin. Additionally, soil phosphorus-solubilizing microorganisms, that are enriched in the rhizospheres of oilseed rapes under RL systems, have an important function in the improvement of phosphorus absorption of rapeseed by intercropping with white lupin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions)
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14 pages, 2198 KiB  
Article
Effects of Variety, Plant Location, and Season on the Phyllosphere Bacterial Community Structure of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)
by Mingzhu Zhang, Chao Peng, Wentao Sun, Rui Dong and Jun Hao
Microorganisms 2022, 10(10), 2023; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10102023 - 13 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1632
Abstract
Plant phyllosphere bacteria are vital for plant health and productivity and are affected by both abiotic and biotic factors. In this study, we surveyed the structure of the phyllosphere bacterial community associated with alfalfa. For two varieties of alfalfa, forty-eight samples of phyllosphere [...] Read more.
Plant phyllosphere bacteria are vital for plant health and productivity and are affected by both abiotic and biotic factors. In this study, we surveyed the structure of the phyllosphere bacterial community associated with alfalfa. For two varieties of alfalfa, forty-eight samples of phyllosphere communities were collected at two locations over four seasons in 2020. Proteobacteria and actinobacteria were associated with the dominating phylum in the bacterial communities of the alfalfa phyllosphere. Sphingomonas was the most abundant genus-level bacteria, followed by Methylobacterium, Burkholderia-Caballeronia-Paraburkholderia, and Pseudomonas. Sampling time had a greater affect than site and variety on alfalfa surface microorganisms. The variation in phyllosphere bacterial community assembly was mostly explained by the season–site interaction (43%), season–variety interaction (35%), and season (28%). Variety, site–variety interaction, and season–site–variety interactions did not have a meaningful effect on phyllosphere bacterial diversity and community structure. The bacterial community in the phyllosphere of alfalfa showed seasonal changes over time. The environmental factors that contributed most to the phyllosphere bacterial community of alfalfa were temperature and sunshine duration, which were significantly positively correlated with most of the dominant bacterial genera in the alfalfa phyllosphere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions)
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13 pages, 2528 KiB  
Article
Seasonal Effect on Bacterial Communities Associated with the Rhizospheres of Polhillia, Wiborgia and Wiborgiella Species in the Cape Fynbos, South Africa
by Tiisetso Mpai, Sanjay K. Jaiswal, Christopher N. Cupido and Felix D. Dakora
Microorganisms 2022, 10(10), 1992; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10101992 - 9 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1423
Abstract
The Cape fynbos biome in South Africa is home to highly diverse and endemic shrub legumes, which include species of Aspalathus, Polhillia, Wiborgia and Wiborgiella. These species play a significant role in improving soil fertility due to their ability to [...] Read more.
The Cape fynbos biome in South Africa is home to highly diverse and endemic shrub legumes, which include species of Aspalathus, Polhillia, Wiborgia and Wiborgiella. These species play a significant role in improving soil fertility due to their ability to fix N2. However, information regarding their microbiome is still unknown. Using the 16S rRNA Miseq illumina sequencing, this study assessed the bacterial community structure associated with the rhizospheres of Polhillia pallens, Polhillia brevicalyx, Wiborgia obcordata, Wiborgia sericea and Wiborgiella sessilifolia growing at different locations during the wet and dry seasons in the Cape fynbos. The results showed that the most dominant bacterial phylum was Actinobacteria during both the dry (56.2–37.2%) and wet (46.3–33.3%) seasons. Unclassified bacterial genera (19.9–27.7%) were the largest inhabitants in the rhizospheres of all five species during the two seasons. The other dominant phyla included Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. Mycobacterium and Conexibacter genera were the biggest populations found in the rhizosphere soil of all five test species during both seasons, except for W. obcordata soil sampled during the dry season, which had Dehalogenimonas as the major inhabitant (6.08%). In this study plant species and growth season were the major drivers of microbial community structure, with W. obcordata having the greatest influence on its microbiome than the other test species. The wet season promoted greater microbial diversity than the dry season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions)
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12 pages, 2118 KiB  
Article
The Role of Mycangial Fungi Associated with Ambrosia Beetles (Euwallacea interjectus) in Fig Wilt Disease: Dual Inoculation of Fusarium kuroshium and Ceratocystis ficicola Can Bring Fig Saplings to Early Symptom Development
by Zi-Ru Jiang, Takeshige Morita, Shota Jikumaru, Keiko Kuroda, Hayato Masuya and Hisashi Kajimura
Microorganisms 2022, 10(10), 1912; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10101912 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2566
Abstract
The ambrosia beetle, Euwallacea interjectus, is a wood-boring pest and a vector of Ceratocystis ficicola, a pathogenic fungus causing fig (Ficus carica) wilt disease (FWD) in Japan. The ambrosia fungi, Fusarium kuroshium and Neocosmospora metavorans, have been frequently [...] Read more.
The ambrosia beetle, Euwallacea interjectus, is a wood-boring pest and a vector of Ceratocystis ficicola, a pathogenic fungus causing fig (Ficus carica) wilt disease (FWD) in Japan. The ambrosia fungi, Fusarium kuroshium and Neocosmospora metavorans, have been frequently isolated from heads (including mycangia) of wild and reared adult female E. interjectus, respectively. However, the exact mechanisms driving FWD as well as the interactions between F. kuroshium and C. ficicola in fig orchard remain unclear. To verify the role of the mycangial fungi in the FWD progression, fig saplings were subjected to inoculation treatments (T1, F. kuroshium; T2, N. metavorans, reference positive control; T3, C. ficicola; T4, F. kuroshium + C. ficicola, realistic on-site combination). T3 and T4 saplings began wilting approximately 12 days after inoculation, leading to eventual death. Median duration from inoculation to death of the T4 saplings was approximately four days significantly faster than that of the T3 saplings. Xylem sap-conduction test indicated that dysfunction and necrosis area were considerably wider in the T4 saplings than in T3 saplings. These results demonstrate that the synergistic action of F. kuroshium and C. ficicola contributed to accelerated wilting in the saplings. Based on these discoveries, we proposed a model for system changes in the symbiosis between E. interjectus and its associated fungi in FWD in Japan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions)
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18 pages, 2705 KiB  
Article
The MinCDE Cell Division System Participates in the Regulation of Type III Secretion System (T3SS) Genes, Bacterial Virulence, and Motility in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae
by Yichao Yan, Yanyan Wang, Xiaofei Yang, Yuan Fang, Guanyun Cheng, Lifang Zou and Gongyou Chen
Microorganisms 2022, 10(8), 1549; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10081549 - 31 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2305
Abstract
Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) causes bacterial leaf blight (BLB) in rice, which is one of the most severe bacterial diseases in rice in some Asian countries. The type III secretion system (T3SS) of Xoo encoded by the hypersensitive response and [...] Read more.
Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) causes bacterial leaf blight (BLB) in rice, which is one of the most severe bacterial diseases in rice in some Asian countries. The type III secretion system (T3SS) of Xoo encoded by the hypersensitive response and pathogenicity (hrp) genes is essential for its pathogenicity in host rice. Here, we identified the Min system (MinC, MinD, and MinE), a negative regulatory system for bacterial cell division encoded by minC, minD, and minE genes, which is involved in negative regulation of hrp genes (hrpB1 and hrpF) in Xoo. We found that the deletion of minC, minD, and minCDE resulted in enhanced hrpB1 and hrpF expression, which is dependent on two key hrp regulators HrpG and HrpX. The minC, minD, and minCDE mutants exhibited elongated cell lengths, and the classic Min system-defective cell morphology including minicells and short filamentations. Mutation of minC in Xoo resulted in significantly impaired virulence in host rice, swimming motility, and enhanced biofilm formation. Our transcriptome profiling also indicated some virulence genes were differentially expressed in the minC mutants. To our knowledge, this is the first report about the Min system participating in the regulation of T3SS expression. It sheds light on the understanding of Xoo virulence mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions)
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12 pages, 2410 KiB  
Article
Control of Maize Sheath Blight and Elicit Induced Systemic Resistance Using Paenibacillus polymyxa Strain SF05
by Bin Chen, Hailiang Han, Junfeng Hou, Fei Bao, Heping Tan, Xiaocheng Lou, Guiyue Wang and Fucheng Zhao
Microorganisms 2022, 10(7), 1318; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10071318 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1647
Abstract
Maize (Zea mays L.) is an important crop in the world and maize sheath blight damages the yield and quality greatly. In this study, an antagonist strain, which exhibited antagonism against pathogenic fungi of maize and controlled maize banded leaf sheath blight [...] Read more.
Maize (Zea mays L.) is an important crop in the world and maize sheath blight damages the yield and quality greatly. In this study, an antagonist strain, which exhibited antagonism against pathogenic fungi of maize and controlled maize banded leaf sheath blight in the field, was effectively isolated and named Paenibacillus polymyxa strain SF05. High cellulase and chitinase activity of the strain were detected in this study, which might contribute to degrading the cell wall of fungi. Furthermore, different resistant genes such as ZmPR1a, OPR1 and OPR7 were elicited differently by the strain in the leaves and stems of maize. In order to explain the biocontrol mechanism of P. polymyxa strain SF05, the genome was sequenced and then the genes involving the biocontrol mechanism including biofilm formation pathways genes, cell wall degradation enzymes, secondary metabolite biosynthesis gene clusters and volatile organic compounds biosynthesis genes were predicted. The study revealed the biocontrol mechanism of P. polymyxa strain SF05 preliminary and laid a foundation for further research of biocontrol mechanism of P. polymyxa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions)
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Review

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14 pages, 327 KiB  
Review
A New Perspective on the Co-Transmission of Plant Pathogens by Hemipterans
by Cecilia Tamborindeguy, Fernando Teruhiko Hata, Rúbia de Oliveira Molina and William Mário de Carvalho Nunes
Microorganisms 2023, 11(1), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11010156 - 7 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2561
Abstract
Co-infection of plants by pathogens is common in nature, and the interaction of the pathogens can affect the infection outcome. There are diverse ways in which viruses and bacteria are transmitted from infected to healthy plants, but insects are common vectors. The present [...] Read more.
Co-infection of plants by pathogens is common in nature, and the interaction of the pathogens can affect the infection outcome. There are diverse ways in which viruses and bacteria are transmitted from infected to healthy plants, but insects are common vectors. The present review aims to highlight key findings of studies evaluating the co-transmission of plant pathogens by insects and identify challenges encountered in these studies. In this review, we evaluated whether similar pathogens might compete during co-transmission; whether the changes in the pathogen titer in the host, in particular associated with the co-infection, could influence its transmission; and finally, we discussed the pros and cons of the different approaches used to study co-transmission. At the end of the review, we highlighted areas of study that need to be addressed. This review shows that despite the recent development of techniques and methods to study the interactions between pathogens and their insect vectors, there are still gaps in the knowledge of pathogen transmission. Additional laboratory and field studies using different pathosystems will help elucidate the role of host co-infection and pathogen co-transmission in the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions)
17 pages, 1612 KiB  
Review
Potential Roles of Soil Microorganisms in Regulating the Effect of Soil Nutrient Heterogeneity on Plant Performance
by Michael Opoku Adomako, Sergio Roiloa and Fei-Hai Yu
Microorganisms 2022, 10(12), 2399; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10122399 - 3 Dec 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 10262
Abstract
The spatially heterogeneous distribution of soil nutrients is ubiquitous in terrestrial ecosystems and has been shown to promote the performance of plant communities, influence species coexistence, and alter ecosystem nutrient dynamics. Plants interact with diverse soil microbial communities that lead to an interdependent [...] Read more.
The spatially heterogeneous distribution of soil nutrients is ubiquitous in terrestrial ecosystems and has been shown to promote the performance of plant communities, influence species coexistence, and alter ecosystem nutrient dynamics. Plants interact with diverse soil microbial communities that lead to an interdependent relationship (e.g., symbioses), driving plant community productivity, belowground biodiversity, and soil functioning. However, the potential role of the soil microbial communities in regulating the effect of soil nutrient heterogeneity on plant growth has been little studied. Here, we highlight the ecological importance of soil nutrient heterogeneity and microorganisms and discuss plant nutrient acquisition mechanisms in heterogeneous soil. We also examine the evolutionary advantages of nutrient acquisition via the soil microorganisms in a heterogeneous environment. Lastly, we highlight a three-way interaction among the plants, soil nutrient heterogeneity, and soil microorganisms and propose areas for future research priorities. By clarifying the role of soil microorganisms in shaping the effect of soil nutrient heterogeneity on plant performance, the present study enhances the current understanding of ecosystem nutrient dynamics in the context of patchily distributed soil nutrients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions)
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20 pages, 1949 KiB  
Review
Unraveling Plant Cell Death during Phytophthora Infection
by Kayla A. Midgley, Noëlani van den Berg and Velushka Swart
Microorganisms 2022, 10(6), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10061139 - 31 May 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2985
Abstract
Oomycetes form a distinct phylogenetic lineage of fungus-like eukaryotic microorganisms, of which several hundred organisms are considered among the most devastating plant pathogens—especially members of the genus Phytophthora. Phytophthora spp. have a large repertoire of effectors that aid in eliciting a susceptible [...] Read more.
Oomycetes form a distinct phylogenetic lineage of fungus-like eukaryotic microorganisms, of which several hundred organisms are considered among the most devastating plant pathogens—especially members of the genus Phytophthora. Phytophthora spp. have a large repertoire of effectors that aid in eliciting a susceptible response in host plants. What is of increasing interest is the involvement of Phytophthora effectors in regulating programed cell death (PCD)—in particular, the hypersensitive response. There have been numerous functional characterization studies, which demonstrate Phytophthora effectors either inducing or suppressing host cell death, which may play a crucial role in Phytophthora’s ability to regulate their hemi-biotrophic lifestyle. Despite several advances in techniques used to identify and characterize Phytophthora effectors, knowledge is still lacking for some important species, including Phytophthora cinnamomi. This review discusses what the term PCD means and the gap in knowledge between pathogenic and developmental forms of PCD in plants. We also discuss the role cell death plays in the virulence of Phytophthora spp. and the effectors that have so far been identified as playing a role in cell death manipulation. Finally, we touch on the different techniques available to study effector functions, such as cell death induction/suppression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions)
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Other

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14 pages, 1291 KiB  
Perspective
The Promises, Challenges, and Opportunities of Omics for Studying the Plant Holobiont
by Dana L. Carper, Manasa R. Appidi, Sameer Mudbhari, Him K. Shrestha, Robert L. Hettich and Paul E. Abraham
Microorganisms 2022, 10(10), 2013; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10102013 - 12 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2737
Abstract
Microorganisms are critical drivers of biological processes that contribute significantly to plant sustainability and productivity. In recent years, emerging research on plant holobiont theory and microbial invasion ecology has radically transformed how we study plant–microbe interactions. Over the last few years, we have [...] Read more.
Microorganisms are critical drivers of biological processes that contribute significantly to plant sustainability and productivity. In recent years, emerging research on plant holobiont theory and microbial invasion ecology has radically transformed how we study plant–microbe interactions. Over the last few years, we have witnessed an accelerating pace of advancements and breadth of questions answered using omic technologies. Herein, we discuss how current state-of-the-art genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics techniques reliably transcend the task of studying plant–microbe interactions while acknowledging existing limitations impeding our understanding of plant holobionts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions)
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7 pages, 244 KiB  
Perspective
Distinguishing Allies from Enemies—A Way for a New Green Revolution
by Teresa Lino-Neto and Paula Baptista
Microorganisms 2022, 10(5), 1048; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10051048 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1897
Abstract
Plants are continually interacting in different ways and levels with microbes, resulting in direct or indirect effects on plant development and fitness. Many plant–microbe interactions are beneficial and promote plant growth and development, while others have harmful effects and cause plant diseases. Given [...] Read more.
Plants are continually interacting in different ways and levels with microbes, resulting in direct or indirect effects on plant development and fitness. Many plant–microbe interactions are beneficial and promote plant growth and development, while others have harmful effects and cause plant diseases. Given the permanent and simultaneous contact with beneficial and harmful microbes, plants should avoid being infected by pathogens while promoting mutualistic relationships. The way plants perceive multiple microbes and trigger plant responses suggests a common origin of both types of interaction. Despite the recent advances in this topic, the exploitation of mutualistic relations has still not been fully achieved. The holistic view of different agroecosystem factors, including biotic and abiotic aspects, as well as agricultural practices, must also be considered. This approach could pave the way for a new green revolution that will allow providing food to a growing human population in the context of threat such as that resulting from climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Microbe Interactions)
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