Special Issue "Biological Control Of Plant Diseases"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. András Fodor

Guest Editor
Department of Genetics, University of Szeged, H-6726 Szeged Középfasor 52, Hungary
Interests: Nematode genetics; Nematode/Bacterium Symbioses; Antimicrobial Peptides; Plant Immunity
Dr. Eustachio Tarasco
Guest Editor
Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, via Amendola 165/A 70126 Bari Italy
Interests: Microbial control; entomopathogenic nematodes and fungi biodiversity; forest and urban entomology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Amanda Gevens
Guest Editor
Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.
Interests: Plant Disease Management; Plant Pathogen Ecology; Plant Diseases; Horticulture; Phytophthora; Soil Science

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

OVERALL: Cultivated plants and those of natural vegetation are continually exposed to attacks by prokaryotic and eukaryotic pathogens. Diseases caused by plant bacterial and fungal pathogens as well as oomycetes have been causing serious decreases in global agricultural production and declines in forest ecosystems. The current plant health protectant treatments do not provide appropriate protection against emerging multi-activity/resistant plant pathogens. Biological control of plant diseases can be defined as using naturally derived compounds or microbial agents as modifiers of disease-causing pathogens and pathogen vectors, replacing antibacterial, antifungal, anthelminthic, and insecticide chemicals. The borderline between chemotherapy and biological control is not always as sharp as can be concluded from this definition: several biological active agents produce large-target-spectral antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) when competing with pathogens. The application potential of the known biological control agents seems to have great prospects in plant medicine. The score of available biocontrol agents and their improvement and practical application are the most important subjects in this field. 

FOCUS: Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria comprise an important group of plant pathogens. Another group of Gram bacteria, including entomopathogenic nematode symbionts, have a strong potential of acting as strong biological control agents. This Special Issue is primarily focused on plant pathogenic bacteria (PPB), oomycetes, and fungi as targets and on the perspectives for their biological control, with special attention to entomopathogenic nematodes–bacterium (EPN–EPB) associations and plant- and insect-produced AMPs. However, all researches in this field working on biopesticides are also warmly welcome. Biopesticides include prokaryotic, such as Bacterium thüringiensis, and eukaryotic, such as entomopathogenic nematodes and fungi, microbial pesticides as well as natural AMPs and other antimicrobial secondary metabolites produced by nematode–bacterium and plant–bacterium symbiotic associations and insects.

PURPOSE: The most important challenge to be faced is the problem of pathogen resistance to treatment with compounds having a single mode of action. The selective pressure of such pesticides favors the survival of resistant clones and their predominance in pathogen populations, challenging the effective control of disease. The emergence of different forms of (antibiotic) multidrug resistance (MDR) in pathogenic bacteria has become alarming in the last decades. MDR has been appearing not only in human and veterinary pathogens but also in PPB. Although in planta application technologies are improving, the trend is that the use of antibiotics as plant medicines has gradually been restricted. The purpose of this Special Issue is to collect studies focusing on means to overcome MDR in plant pathology by replacing chemicals with biological control agents. 

Dr. András Fodor
Dr. Eustachio Tarasco
Dr. Amanda Gevens
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 1400 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.


  • plant pathogens
  • biological control agents
  • plant pathogenic bacteria (PPB)
  • oomycetes
  • fungi
  • entomopathogenic nematodes–bacterium (EPN–EPB) associations and plant- and insect-produced AMPs
  • biopesticides

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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