Special Issue "Soilborne Plant Pathogens"
A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2019).
Interests: plant disease epidemiology and management; microbial ecology; population modelling/biology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Special Issue in Agronomy: Perspectives and Challenges of Microbial Application for Crop Improvement
Soil microflora consists of microorganisms that are beneficial, neutral or harmful to plants. Crops are attacked by many pathogenic microorganisms, primarily from fungi and oomycetes, necessitating stringent disease control measures. Well-known soilborne pathogens include Phytopathora spp., Pythium spp., Fusarium spp. and Verticillium spp. Soil fumigation with broad-spectrum pesticides used to be one of main disease control measures. However, due to its negative impact on soil microbiota and the environment in general, such practice has recently been banned in many countries. As a result, managing soilborne disease has become even more important. This is particularly true for some complex disease syndromes that are known to associate with several soilborne pathogens but without clear identification of causal agent(s), for instance replant disease and yield syndromes where crop production potential is significantly reduced with continuous production at the same location. Indeed, the difficulty of managing soilborne pathogens is one of the reasons for an increase in some crops being grown in substrate. Moreover, soilborne diseases are often much influenced by soil conditions, including the complex resident microflora, making them difficult to study in situ. Sustainable intensification of agriculture requires effective management of soilborne pathogens. In order to manage these soilborne pathogens, before growers can apply appropriate control measures in a timely manner, we need to know what pathogens are present, spatial inoculum distribution, and soil suppressiveness. Of course, breeding cultivars with durable resistance remains a long term goal to combat diseases.
Recent advances in “-omics” science have offered new avenues to study complex microbial interactions in soils. These techniques have now been used by researchers to gain more understanding of biology of the pathogens, interactions between the pathogens and the host, and ‘soil health’ in the context for crop production. This knowledge may help us to design new management strategies.
Prof. Xiangming Xu
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- Inoculum quantification
- Host resistance
- Soil health
- Soil/rhizosphere microbiome
- Soil amendment