Special Issue "Biological Control of Plant Diseases"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

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
E-Mail Website
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
E-Mail Website
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 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.


  • 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 (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview
Multidrug Resistance (MDR) and Collateral Sensitivity in Bacteria, with Special Attention to Genetic and Evolutionary Aspects and to the Perspectives of Antimicrobial Peptides—A Review
Pathogens 2020, 9(7), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9070522 - 29 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1663
Antibiotic poly-resistance (multidrug-, extreme-, and pan-drug resistance) is controlled by adaptive evolution. Darwinian and Lamarckian interpretations of resistance evolution are discussed. Arguments for, and against, pessimistic forecasts on a fatal “post-antibiotic era” are evaluated. In commensal niches, the appearance of a new antibiotic [...] Read more.
Antibiotic poly-resistance (multidrug-, extreme-, and pan-drug resistance) is controlled by adaptive evolution. Darwinian and Lamarckian interpretations of resistance evolution are discussed. Arguments for, and against, pessimistic forecasts on a fatal “post-antibiotic era” are evaluated. In commensal niches, the appearance of a new antibiotic resistance often reduces fitness, but compensatory mutations may counteract this tendency. The appearance of new antibiotic resistance is frequently accompanied by a collateral sensitivity to other resistances. Organisms with an expanding open pan-genome, such as Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumoniae, can withstand an increased number of resistances by exploiting their evolutionary plasticity and disseminating clonally or poly-clonally. Multidrug-resistant pathogen clones can become predominant under antibiotic stress conditions but, under the influence of negative frequency-dependent selection, are prevented from rising to dominance in a population in a commensal niche. Antimicrobial peptides have a great potential to combat multidrug resistance, since antibiotic-resistant bacteria have shown a high frequency of collateral sensitivity to antimicrobial peptides. In addition, the mobility patterns of antibiotic resistance, and antimicrobial peptide resistance, genes are completely different. The integron trade in commensal niches is fortunately limited by the species-specificity of resistance genes. Hence, we theorize that the suggested post-antibiotic era has not yet come, and indeed might never come. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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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.

Title 1: The biocontrol potential of endophytic Trichoderma fungi isolated from Hungarian grapevines: Isolation, identification and in vitro studies

Title 2: The biocontrol potential of endophytic Trichoderma fungi isolated from Hungarian grapevines: Open field studies and applications in agriculture

Authors: Csilla Kovács, András Csótó, Károly Pál, Antal Nagy, Levente Karaffa and Erzsébet Sándor

Affiliation: the University of Debrecen, Hungary


Title: Antimicrobial Peptides and Multi Drug Resistance 2021


András Fodor1*, Gyöngyi Székely2a,b,c*, Birhan Addisie Abate3, Adler Ray Dillman4László Fodor5, Michael G. Klein6, Zsuzsanna Kálmán-Koncz7, László Makrai5, László Ötvös Jr8,9, Horolma Pamjav10, Eustachio Tarasco11, Ildikó Varga12, and Tibor Vellai13


1Department of Genetics, University of Szeged, H-6726 Szeged, Középfasor 52, Hungary; András Fodor, E-mail: [email protected];

2a Hungarian Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Biology and Geology, Babeș-Bolyai University, 5-7 Clinicilor St., 400006 Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Gyöngyi Székely, E-mail: [email protected]

2b Dr. Gyöngyi Székely,  Institute for Research-Development-Innovation in Applied Natural Sciences, Babeș-Bolyai University, 30 Fântânele St., 400294 Cluj-Napoca, Romania;

c Dr. Gyöngyi Székely, Centre of Systemic Biology, Biodiversity and Bioresources, Babeș - Bolyai University, 5-7 Clinicilor St., 400006 Cluj-Napoca, Romania;

3Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute, Agricultural Biotechnology Directorate, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Birhan A. Abate, E-mail: [email protected];

4Department of Nematology, University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA, 92521, USA; Adler Dillman, E-mail:  [email protected];  

5Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, P.O.  Box 1322, Budapest H-1581, Hungary; László Fodor, E-mail: [email protected]; László Makrai, E-mail: [email protected];

6Department of Entomology, The Ohio State University, Madison Avenue, Wooster OH-44691, USA; Michael G. Klein, E-mail: [email protected];

7Max-Planck Institut für Züchtungsforschung, Carl-von-Linné-Weg 10.D-50829 Köln, Germany; Zsuzsanna Koncz, E-mail: [email protected];

8OLPE, LLC, 801 Mockingbird Lane, Audubon, PA, 19403, USA; László Ötvös, E-mail: [email protected];

9Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Medical Microbiology, Semmelweis University, Nagyvárad tér 4, H-1089, Budapest, Hungary; László Ötvös, E-mail: [email protected];

10Institute for Forensic Sciences, Institute of Forensic Genetics, Budapest, Mosonyi u. 9. Hungary; Horolma Pamjav, E-mail: [email protected];

11University of Bari "A. Moro" Bari Italy, Eustachio Tarasco, E/mail: [email protected];

12Geosan LTD, Biotechnológia Branch, H-8184 Balatonfűzfő P.O. Box 34; Ildikó Varga, E-mail: [email protected];

13Department of Genetics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány P. sétány, 1/C, H-1117, Budapest, Hungary; Tibor Vellai E-mail: [email protected]


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