Special Issue "Interplay between Fungal Pathogens and Harvested Crops and Fruits"

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Dov Prusky
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Postharvest Science of Fresh Produce, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, Beit Dagan, 7505101, Israel
Interests: Postharvest pathogens; Regulation of organic acid production and secretion; Nitrogen metabolism and ammonia secretion; Effect of the secreted substances on the modulation of host local pH and program cell death; Mycotoxin and pathogenicity in postharvest pathogens; Etiology and control of postharvest losses in deciduous and subtropical fruits by integration of pre-and postharvest treatments
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Edward Sionov
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Food Quality & Safety, Institute for Postharvest and Food Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization, Rishon LeZion 7528809, Israel
Interests: Medical Mycology; Mycotoxigenic Fungi; Mycotoxins; Molecular Biology; Host-Pathogen Interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue "Interplay between Fungal Pathogens and Harvested Crops and Fruits" will concentrate on a significant series of articles with a focus on physiological, biochemical, and molecular aspects of host–pathogen interactions (pathogenic, saprotrophic, endophytic) and mechanisms of mycotoxin accumulation in order to prevent postharvest fungal colonization. High crop losses and decreased quality due to postharvest pathogens requires an understanding of the mechanism modulating fungal colonization and the effect on crops. Pathogens can penetrate postharvest crops directly through wounds during the harvest period and storage handling, or through the cuticle in preharvest commodities. In both cases, disease symptoms are strongly dependent on the etiology of the fungal attack, the physiological stage of the crop and the storage conditions. Pathogen infection of the unripe host initiates defensive signal-transduction cascades, culminating in an accumulation of antifungal proteins that limit fungal growth and development. However, the activation of infections during maturation and ripening is a critical factor for the modulation of susceptibility to postharvest pathogens. During this period, commodities undergo physiological and metabolic changes that affect the nutritional composition availability and cause a decline in resistance mechanisms. The activation of quiescent infection processes occurring in the host during ripening also induces the pathogen metabolic processes modulating optimal gene-expression conditions for fungal colonization, and secondary metabolites and mycotoxin accumulation. In this Special Issue, original research studies and review articles covering the mechanisms of host resistance and or the susceptibility to fungal attack and secondary metabolite accumulation during the process of fungal attack will be considered for publication.

Prof. Dr. Dov Prusky
Dr. Edward Sionov
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. Microorganisms 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 1600 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

  • Postharvest
  • Fruit pathogenicity
  • Crop pathogenicity
  • Mechanism of mycotoxin synthesis
  • Mycotoxin biosynthesis gene cluster activation’ mechanism of corp/fruit resistance
  • Mechanism of pathogenicity

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle
Cuminal Inhibits Trichothecium roseum Growth by Triggering Cell Starvation: Transcriptome and Proteome Analysis
Microorganisms 2020, 8(2), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8020256 - 14 Feb 2020
Abstract
Trichothecium roseum is a harmful postharvest fungus causing serious damage, together with the secretion of insidious mycotoxins, on apples, melons, and other important fruits. Cuminal, a predominant component of Cuminum cyminum essential oil has proven to successfully inhibit the growth of T. roseum [...] Read more.
Trichothecium roseum is a harmful postharvest fungus causing serious damage, together with the secretion of insidious mycotoxins, on apples, melons, and other important fruits. Cuminal, a predominant component of Cuminum cyminum essential oil has proven to successfully inhibit the growth of T. roseum in vitro and in vivo. Electron microscopic observations revealed cuminal exposure impaired the fungal morphology and ultrastructure, particularly the plasmalemma. Transcriptome and proteome analysis was used to investigate the responses of T. roseum to exposure of cuminal. In total, 2825 differentially expressed transcripts (1516 up and 1309 down) and 225 differentially expressed proteins (90 up and 135 down) were determined. Overall, notable parts of these differentially expressed genes functionally belong to subcellular localities of the membrane system and cytosol, along with ribosomes, mitochondria and peroxisomes. According to the localization analysis and the biological annotation of these genes, carbohydrate and lipids metabolism, redox homeostasis, and asexual reproduction were among the most enriched gene ontology (GO) terms. Biological pathway enrichment analysis showed that lipids and amino acid degradation, ATP-binding cassette transporters, membrane reconstitution, mRNA surveillance pathway and peroxisome were elevated, whereas secondary metabolite biosynthesis, cell cycle, and glycolysis/gluconeogenesis were down regulated. Further integrated omics analysis showed that cuminal exposure first impaired the polarity of the cytoplasmic membrane and then triggered the reconstitution and dysfunction of fungal plasmalemma, resulting in handicapped nutrient procurement of the cells. Consequently, fungal cells showed starvation stress with limited carbohydrate metabolism, resulting a metabolic shift to catabolism of the cell’s own components in response to the stress. Additionally, these predicaments brought about oxidative stress, which, in collaboration with the starvation, damaged certain critical organelles such as mitochondria. Such degeneration, accompanied by energy deficiency, suppressed the biosynthesis of essential proteins and inhibited fungal growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interplay between Fungal Pathogens and Harvested Crops and Fruits)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Physiological and Proteomic Approaches to Address the Active Role of Botrytis cinerea Inoculation in Tomato Postharvest Ripening
Microorganisms 2019, 7(12), 681; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7120681 - 11 Dec 2019
Abstract
Botrytis cinerea is an unbearable postharvest threat with significant economic impacts. Necrotrophic B. cinerea can readily infect ripe fruit resulting in the rapid progression of symptoms of the disease. To unravel the mechanism by which tomato fruit opposes pathogen attack, we investigated the [...] Read more.
Botrytis cinerea is an unbearable postharvest threat with significant economic impacts. Necrotrophic B. cinerea can readily infect ripe fruit resulting in the rapid progression of symptoms of the disease. To unravel the mechanism by which tomato fruit opposes pathogen attack, we investigated the changes in quality-related attributes as a direct response (DR) or systemic response (SR) of infected tomatoes to the B. cinerea. Additionally, the SR of protein yield and composition were studied in fruit stored at 11 °C/90% relative humidity (RH) for one week. Fungal infection accelerated ripening with increased ethylene and respiration rates. Fruit softening, ascorbic acid and β-carotene increase were associated with DR but not with the SR of the pathogen. Pathogen infection increased lipid peroxidation, causing the production of hydrogen peroxide and oxidative stress, as fruit activated both enzymatic and non-enzymatic mechanisms to trigger stress. B. cinerea increased up to 6.6% the protein yield and downregulated at least 39 proteins. Proteins involved in fruit ripening, such as an ethylene biosynthetic enzyme, were increased in wound-inoculated fruit. Moreover, antioxidant proteins, such as ascorbate peroxidase-APX1 and superoxide dismutase-SOD, increased in infected tomatoes, as these proteins are involved in reactive oxygen species detoxification. Constitutively-expressed proteins tended to be either increased (chaperonin and malate dehydrogenase) or remained unaffected (dehydrin) by pathogen inoculation. Protein levels involved in the metabolism of carbohydrate, the pentose phosphate pathway, terpenoid and flavonoid biosynthesis were differently affected during the treatments. By enabling a better understanding of the fungal direct or systemic response on fruit quality and ripening through biochemical and proteome studies, we may improve the plant–pathogen interaction and complexity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interplay between Fungal Pathogens and Harvested Crops and Fruits)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Study on the Infection Mechanism of Penicillium Digitatum on Postharvest Citrus (Citrus Reticulata Blanco) Based on Transcriptomics
Microorganisms 2019, 7(12), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7120672 - 10 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Penicillium digitatum is one of the most important pathogens known widely to cause postharvest losses of citrus. It is significant to explore its infection mechanism to improve the control technology of postharvest diseases of citrus. This research aimed to study the changes in [...] Read more.
Penicillium digitatum is one of the most important pathogens known widely to cause postharvest losses of citrus. It is significant to explore its infection mechanism to improve the control technology of postharvest diseases of citrus. This research aimed to study the changes in gene expression of P. digitatum at its early stages of citrus infection by transcriptomics sequencing and bioinformatics analysis in order to explore the molecular mechanism of its infection. The results showed that genes associated with pathogenic factors, such as cell wall degrading enzymes, ethylene, organic acids, and effectors, were significantly up-regulated. Concurrently, genes related to anti-oxidation and iron transport were equally up-regulated at varying degrees. From this study, we demonstrated a simple blueprint for the infection mechanism of P. digitatum in Citrus reticulata Blanco, which provided a new direction for subsequent pathological research and paves the way for developing new control strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interplay between Fungal Pathogens and Harvested Crops and Fruits)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis of the Interaction between Penicillium expansum and Apple Fruit (Malus pumila Mill.) during Early Stages of Infection
Microorganisms 2019, 7(11), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7110495 - 28 Oct 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Blue mold, caused by Penicillium expansum, is an important postharvest disease of apple, and can result in significant economic losses. The present study investigated the interaction between P. expansum and wounded apple fruit tissues during the early stages of the infection. Spores [...] Read more.
Blue mold, caused by Penicillium expansum, is an important postharvest disease of apple, and can result in significant economic losses. The present study investigated the interaction between P. expansum and wounded apple fruit tissues during the early stages of the infection. Spores of P. expansum became activated one hour post-inoculation (hpi), exhibited swelling at 3 hpi, and the germ tubes were found entering into apple tissues at 6 hpi. RNA-seq was performed on samples of P. expansum and apple fruit tissue collected at 1, 3, and 6 hpi. The main differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that were identified in P. expansum were related to interaction, cell wall degradation enzymes, anti-oxidative stress, pH regulation, and effectors. Apple tissues responded to the presence of P. expansum by activating pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP)-triggered immunity (PTI) at 1 hpi, then activated effector-triggered immunity (ETI) at 3 hpi. This research provides new information on the interaction between P. expansum and apple fruit tissue at an early stage of the infection process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interplay between Fungal Pathogens and Harvested Crops and Fruits)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Elucidation of the Initial Growth Process and the Infection Mechanism of Penicillium digitatum on Postharvest Citrus (Citrus reticulata Blanco)
Microorganisms 2019, 7(11), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7110485 - 24 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Green mold disease, a common citrus post-harvest disease caused by Penicillium digitatum, has an unresolved initial infection mechanism. Understanding the infection mechanism leads to the development of potential controls and preventive measures against the disease. The present study aimed to delineate the [...] Read more.
Green mold disease, a common citrus post-harvest disease caused by Penicillium digitatum, has an unresolved initial infection mechanism. Understanding the infection mechanism leads to the development of potential controls and preventive measures against the disease. The present study aimed to delineate the infection mechanism by investigating spore germination, changes of organic molecules and enzyme activity, and differential expression of genes in the P. digitatum infection. P. digitatum spore germination was observed by a pathology section scanner and it was found that in vivo germination was 3 h behind the in vitro germination. In addition, cell wall degrading enzymes and soluble sugar and titratable acid content during the infection process measured dynamically. The level of pectinase reached its maximum of 6067 U/g before 48 hpi, while cellulase increased rapidly after 48 hpi. The soluble sugar and organic acid content increased considerably with the progression of the infection. The transcriptomic profile of P. digitatum before and after infection was analyzed by RNA-seq. The genes related to cell wall degrading enzymes were significantly up-regulated and annotated to participate in two major carbon source synthesis pathways. The study delineated the initial infection mechanism of P. digitatum which eventually opened the gate way for the development of new control strategies in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interplay between Fungal Pathogens and Harvested Crops and Fruits)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Functional and Pharmacological Analyses of the Role of Penicillium digitatum Proteases on Virulence
Microorganisms 2019, 7(7), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7070198 - 12 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Penicillium digitatum is the major postharvest pathogen of citrus fruit under Mediterranean climate conditions. Previous results have shown that proteases is the largest enzyme family induced by P. digitatum during fruit infection. In the present work, we addressed the study of the role [...] Read more.
Penicillium digitatum is the major postharvest pathogen of citrus fruit under Mediterranean climate conditions. Previous results have shown that proteases is the largest enzyme family induced by P. digitatum during fruit infection. In the present work, we addressed the study of the role of P. digitatum’s proteases in virulence following two complementary approaches. In the first approach, we undertook the functional characterization of the P. digitatum prtT gene, which codes for a putative transcription factor previously shown to regulate extracellular proteases in other filamentous fungi. Deletion of prtT caused a significant loss in secreted protease activity during in vitro growth assays. However, there was no effect on virulence. Gene expression of the two major secreted acid proteases was barely affected in the ΔprtT deletant during infection of citrus fruit. Hence, no conclusion could be drawn on the role of these secreted acidic proteases on the virulence of P. digitatum. In the second approach, we studied the effect of different protease inhibitors and chelators on virulence. Co-inoculation of citrus fruit with P. digitatum conidia and a cocktail of protease inhibitors resulted in almost a complete absence of disease development. Analysis of individual inhibitors revealed that the metalloprotease inhibitor, 1,10-phenanthroline, was responsible for the observed effect. The application of metal ions reverted the protective effect caused by the metallopeptidase inhibitor. These results may set the basis for the development of new alternative treatments to combat this important postharvest pathogen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interplay between Fungal Pathogens and Harvested Crops and Fruits)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview
The Pattern and Function of DNA Methylation in Fungal Plant Pathogens
Microorganisms 2020, 8(2), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8020227 - 08 Feb 2020
Abstract
To successfully infect plants and trigger disease, fungal plant pathogens use various strategies that are dependent on characteristics of their biology and genomes. Although pathogenic fungi are different from animals and plants in the genomic heritability, sequence feature, and epigenetic modification, an increasing [...] Read more.
To successfully infect plants and trigger disease, fungal plant pathogens use various strategies that are dependent on characteristics of their biology and genomes. Although pathogenic fungi are different from animals and plants in the genomic heritability, sequence feature, and epigenetic modification, an increasing number of phytopathogenic fungi have been demonstrated to share DNA methyltransferases (MTases) responsible for DNA methylation with animals and plants. Fungal plant pathogens predominantly possess four types of DNA MTase homologs, including DIM-2, DNMT1, DNMT5, and RID. Numerous studies have indicated that DNA methylation in phytopathogenic fungi mainly distributes in transposable elements (TEs), gene promoter regions, and the repetitive DNA sequences. As an important and heritable epigenetic modification, DNA methylation is associated with silencing of gene expression and transposon, and it is responsible for a wide range of biological phenomena in fungi. This review highlights the relevant reports and insights into the important roles of DNA methylation in the modulation of development, pathogenicity, and secondary metabolism of fungal plant pathogens. Recent evidences prove that there are massive links between DNA and histone methylation in fungi, and they commonly regulate fungal development and mycotoxin biosynthesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interplay between Fungal Pathogens and Harvested Crops and Fruits)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessBrief Report
Identification and Toxigenic Potential of Fungi Isolated from Capsicum Peppers
Microorganisms 2019, 7(9), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7090303 - 30 Aug 2019
Abstract
Capsicum peppers are among the most popular horticultural crops produced and consumed worldwide. This study aimed to assess the occurrence of spoilage fungi responsible for post-harvest losses in the most common varieties of Capsicum peppers collected from retail markets in Nigeria and Ghana. [...] Read more.
Capsicum peppers are among the most popular horticultural crops produced and consumed worldwide. This study aimed to assess the occurrence of spoilage fungi responsible for post-harvest losses in the most common varieties of Capsicum peppers collected from retail markets in Nigeria and Ghana. Forty fungal isolates belonging to 7 families, 8 genera, and 17 species were identified on the basis of morphology, culture characteristics, and DNA sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Aspergillus spp. (42.5%), Fusarium spp. (22.5%), and Colletotrichum spp. (15%) were found to be the predominant fungal pathogens. Furthermore, potential ability of the isolated mycotoxigenic fungi to produce some major mycotoxins was analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Among the 22 isolates analyzed, 11 strains belonging to the genera of Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Penicillium were found to be able to produce mycotoxins, such as aflatoxin B1, gliotoxin, deoxynivalenol, and citrinin. A better understanding of the role of fungal contaminants in pepper fruits, especially the prevalence of mycotoxigenic fungi and their associated mycotoxigenic potential, will assist in the development of management strategies to control mycotoxin contamination and to reduce toxicological risks related to pepper consumption by humans and animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interplay between Fungal Pathogens and Harvested Crops and Fruits)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop