Special Issue "Recent Advances on Pathogenomics and Effectoromics of Verticillium Species"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817). This special issue belongs to the section "Fungal Pathogens".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Giovanni Bubici
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Guest Editor
Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Bari, Italy
Interests: plant pathology; soil-borne plant pathogens; beneficial microbes; soil microbiome; biological control; Verticillium; Pyrenocaheta; Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense; Streptomyces; screening for resistance; plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions; functional genomics; transcriptomics; metagenomics
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Dr. Jesús Mercado-Blanco
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Crop Protection, Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, CSIC, 14004 Cordoba, Spain
Interests: banana; beneficial endophytes; biological control; integrated disease management; olive; omics; plant–microbe interactions; Pseudomonas; Rhizosphere microbiology; soil-borne diseases
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Fouad Daayf
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Plant Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Interests: molecular and biochemical mechanisms of plant-pathogen interactions; plant defense suppression by pathogens; mechanisms of plant disease biocontrol; detection and biology of soil-borne and foliar pathogens; Verticillium wilt; potato late blight; corn Goss's wilt; soybean root rots
Prof. Dr. Sabina Berne
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agronomy, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Interests: filamentous fungi; plant–microbe interactions; Verticillium; biochemistry; fungal effectors; chitin-binding; cell signaling; protein–lipid interactions; cytolysins
Dr. Maria Isabella Prigigallo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Turin, Italy
Interests: beneficial microorganisms; soil microbiome; Phytophthora spp.; Fusarium; biological control; plant–microbe interaction; metagenomics; plant functional genomics; molecular plant pathology; plant genetic resistance
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Carmen Gómez‐Lama Cabanás
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Crop Protection, Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Córdoba, Spain
Interests: plant pathogens; beneficial microorganisms; biological control; agriculture biotechnology; Verticillium dahliae; Olea europaea; Pseudomonas fluorescens; Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense; Musa acuminata; molecular detection of microorganisms; plant microbiome; rhizosphere microorganisms; plant–microbial interactions; tripartite interactions; ‘-omics’

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Several Verticillium species are relevant soil-borne plant pathogens, infecting nearly 400 host species belonging to over 40 botanical families. Such a large host range, together with their ubiquity and long survival in soils, make these pathogens particularly difficult to control, especially after the drastic reduction in the available soil-deliverable fumigants and fungicides. Very few host resistance genes have, so far, been found, while polygenic resistance sources are often insufficient to control the pathogen effectively. In the last century, research efforts have aimed to tackle Verticillium wilts in many crops. Furthermore, physical, agronomical, chemical, and biological control measures have been studied and implemented either individually or in combination within integrated frameworks in the attempt to contain yield losses due to Verticillium-induced diseases. Nowadays, it seems that this research approach has reached a plateau and outstanding advances are hardly achieved. However, with the advent of high-throughput “-omics” technologies, increasing research focused on the fungus genome and its interaction with plant hosts and belowground microbiomes have surfaced. In addition, hundreds of pathogen effectors, secreted molecules that sabotage host machinery during the infection process, have been identified. Some of these effectors serve as valuable tools in effectoromics and are being exploited for accelerated and improved identification of immune receptors in modern resistance breeding, Pathogenomics greatly contributes to the in-depth understanding of the mechanisms underlying pathogenicity and virulence of the pathogen as well as defense and resistance of the host, thus paving the way for novel control strategies. Due to its recent emergence, the pathogenomics of Verticillium species is as young as it is challenging, and contributions in this field are being produced by scientists all around the world. Coordination actions, joint efforts, and open discussions would serve to better orientate investigations towards the shared objective of controlling this pathogen effectively. We warmly invite all scientists interested in Verticillium to contribute to this Special Issue by sharing their most recent and innovative research results. Moreover, comprehensive reviews are particularly encouraged. This Special Issue, hence, aims to address multifaceted aspects of the fungus and its pathogenomics falling under but not limited to:

  • Pathogenicity, virulence/avirulence factors, and effector proteins;
  • Population genomics and evolutionary events;
  • Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and chromosomal rearrangement;
  • Manipulation of plant host immunity responses (plant hormones, small RNAs, secondary metabolite pathways, cell wall modifications, etc.);
  • Molecular cross-talk between Verticillium and belowground host-associated microbiota;
  • Modulation of Verticillium aggressiveness by biotic and abiotic factors.

We look forward to your contributions.

Dr. Giovanni Bubici
Dr. Jesús Mercado-Blanco
Prof. Dr. Fouad Daayf
Prof. Dr. Sabina Berne
Dr. Maria Isabella Prigigallo
Dr. Carmen Gómez‐Lama Cabanás
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. Pathogens 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

  • pathogenicity
  • virulence/avirulence factors
  • effector proteins
  • genomics
  • evolution
  • horizontal gene transfer (hgt)
  • chromosomal rearrangement
  • phytomicrobiome
  • plant host immunity
  • plant host resistance
  • plant hormones
  • Small RNAs
  • Secondary metabolites

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Role of Exopolygalacturonase-Related Genes in Potato-Verticillium dahliae Interaction
Pathogens 2021, 10(6), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10060642 - 23 May 2021
Viewed by 733
Abstract
Verticillium dahliae is a hemibiotrophic pathogen responsible for great losses in dicot crop production. An ExoPG gene (VDAG_03463,) identified using subtractive hybridization/cDNA-AFLP, showed higher expression levels in highly aggressive than in weakly aggressive V. dahliae isolates. We used a vector-free split-marker recombination method [...] Read more.
Verticillium dahliae is a hemibiotrophic pathogen responsible for great losses in dicot crop production. An ExoPG gene (VDAG_03463,) identified using subtractive hybridization/cDNA-AFLP, showed higher expression levels in highly aggressive than in weakly aggressive V. dahliae isolates. We used a vector-free split-marker recombination method with PEG-mediated protoplast to delete the ExoPG gene in V. dahliae. This is the first instance of using this method for V. dahliae transformation. Only two PCR steps and one transformation step were required, markedly reducing the necessary time for gene deletion. Six mutants were identified. ExoPG expressed more in the highly aggressive than in the weakly aggressive isolate in response to potato leaf and stem extracts. Its expression increased in both isolates during infection, with higher levels in the highly aggressive isolate at early infection stages. The disruption of ExoPG did not influence virulence, nor did it affect total exopolygalacturonase activity in V. dahliae. Full genome analysis showed 8 more genes related to polygalacturonase/pectinase activity in V. dahliae. Transcripts of PGA increased in the △exopg mutant in response to potato leaf extracts, compared to the wild type. The expression pattern of those eight genes showed similar trends in the △exopg mutant and in the weakly aggressive isolate in response to potato extracts, but without the increase of PGA in the weakly aggressive isolate to leaf extracts. This indicated that the △exopg mutant of V. dahliae compensated by the suppression of ExoPG by activating other related gene. Full article
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Article
Gene Expression of Putative Pathogenicity-Related Genes in Verticillium dahliae in Response to Elicitation with Potato Extracts and during Infection Using Quantitative Real-Time PCR
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050510 - 23 Apr 2021
Viewed by 587
Abstract
Quantitative real-time PCR was used to monitor the expression of 15 Verticillium dahliae’s genes, putatively involved in pathogenicity, highly (HAV) and weakly aggressive (WAV) V. dahliae isolates after either (i) elicitation with potato leaf, stem, or root extracts, or (ii) inoculation of [...] Read more.
Quantitative real-time PCR was used to monitor the expression of 15 Verticillium dahliae’s genes, putatively involved in pathogenicity, highly (HAV) and weakly aggressive (WAV) V. dahliae isolates after either (i) elicitation with potato leaf, stem, or root extracts, or (ii) inoculation of potato detached petioles. These genes, i.e., coding for Ras-GAP-like protein, serine/threonine protein kinase, Ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme variant-MMS2, NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase, Thioredoxin, Pyruvate dehydrogenase E1 VdPDHB, myo-inositol 2-dehydrogenase, and HAD-superfamily hydrolase, showed differential upregulation in the HAV versus WAV isolate in response to plant extracts or after inoculation of potato leaf petioles. This suggests their potential involvement in the observed differential aggressiveness between isolates. However, other genes like glucan endo-1,3-alpha-glucosidase and nuc-1 negative regulatory protein VdPREG showed higher activity in the WAV than in the HAV in response to potato extracts and/or during infection. This, in contrast, may suggest a role in their lower aggressiveness. These findings, along with future functional analysis of selected genes, will contribute to improving our understanding of V. dahliae’s pathogenesis. For example, expression of VdPREG negatively regulates phosphorus-acquisition enzymes, which may indicate a lower phosphorus acquisition activity in the WAV. Therefore, integrating the knowledge about the activity of both genes enhancing pathogenicity and those restraining it will provide a guild line for further functional characterization of the most critical genes, thus driving new ideas towards better Verticillium wilt management. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Daguang Cai,Selective interference with miR164-targetd NAC transcription factors by Verticillium Longisporum in oilseed rape (B. napus) and A. thaliana.
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