Special Issue "Biological Control of Plant Diseases"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021) | Viewed by 7728

Special Issue Editors

Dr. András Fodor
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Genetics, Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary
Interests: nematode genetics; nematode/bacterium symbioses; antimicrobial peptides; plant immunity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
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: entomology; faunal analysis; entomopathogenic nematode; entomopathogenic fungi; insect control
Special Issues, Collections and Topics 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

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Keywords

  • 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 (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Biocontrol Potential of Endophytic Trichoderma Fungi Isolated from Hungarian Grapevines. Part I. Isolation, Identification and In Vitro Studies
Pathogens 2021, 10(12), 1612; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10121612 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 943
Abstract
This paper reports on the identification and in vitro characterization of several Trichoderma strains isolated from the Tokaj Wine Region in North-East Hungary. Ten isolates were analyzed and found to consist of six individual species—T. gamsii, T. orientale, T. simmonsii [...] Read more.
This paper reports on the identification and in vitro characterization of several Trichoderma strains isolated from the Tokaj Wine Region in North-East Hungary. Ten isolates were analyzed and found to consist of six individual species—T. gamsii, T. orientale, T. simmonsii, T. afroharzianum, T. atrobrunneum and T. harzianum sensu stricto. The growth potential of the strains was assessed at a range of temperatures. We also report here on the in vitro biocontrol properties and fungicide tolerance of the most promising strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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Article
Development and Validation of a Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Diagnostic Method to Detect the Quarantine Potato Pale Cyst Nematode, Globodera pallida
Pathogens 2021, 10(6), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10060744 - 12 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1269
Abstract
The potato cyst nematode (PCN) Globodera pallida has acquired significant importance throughout Europe due to its nefarious effects on potato production. Rapid and reliable diagnosis of PCN is critical during the surveillance programs and for the implementation of control measures. Molecular DNA-based methods [...] Read more.
The potato cyst nematode (PCN) Globodera pallida has acquired significant importance throughout Europe due to its nefarious effects on potato production. Rapid and reliable diagnosis of PCN is critical during the surveillance programs and for the implementation of control measures. Molecular DNA-based methods are available, but they require expensive laboratory facilities, equipment and trained technicians. Moreover, there is an additional need of time for sample shipment and testing. In this work, we have developed a new and simple assay which reliably discriminates G. pallida from other cyst nematodes in less than 40 min. This assay may be applied either on cysts or juveniles with the ability to detect a single juvenile of G. pallida in a sample of at least 40 juveniles of the non-target species G. rostochiensis. This test should be a tool to improve the performance of the laboratory and has the potential to be performed on-site. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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Review

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Review
Biological Control of Plant Diseases: An Evolutionary and Eco-Economic Consideration
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1311; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101311 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1639
Abstract
Biological control is considered as a promising alternative to pesticide and plant resistance to manage plant diseases, but a better understanding of the interaction of its natural and societal functions is necessary for its endorsement. The introduction of biological control agents (BCAs) alters [...] Read more.
Biological control is considered as a promising alternative to pesticide and plant resistance to manage plant diseases, but a better understanding of the interaction of its natural and societal functions is necessary for its endorsement. The introduction of biological control agents (BCAs) alters the interaction among plants, pathogens, and environments, leading to biological and physical cascades that influence pathogen fitness, plant health, and ecological function. These interrelationships generate a landscape of tradeoffs among natural and social functions of biological control, and a comprehensive evaluation of its benefits and costs across social and farmer perspectives is required to ensure the sustainable development and deployment of the approach. Consequently, there should be a shift of disease control philosophy from a single concept that only concerns crop productivity to a multifaceted concept concerning crop productivity, ecological function, social acceptability, and economical accessibility. To achieve these goals, attempts should make to develop “green” BCAs used dynamically and synthetically with other disease control approaches in an integrated disease management scheme, and evolutionary biologists should play an increasing role in formulating the strategies. Governments and the public should also play a role in the development and implementation of biological control strategies supporting positive externality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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Review
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 23 | Viewed by 3224
Abstract
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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