Biological Control of Plant Diseases

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Protection and Biotic Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2022) | Viewed by 46695

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Guest Editor
School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Basilicata, Viale dell’Ateneo Lucano 10, 85100 Potenza, Italy
Interests: molecular plant virology; viral vectors; biotic and abiotic stresses; plant disease; plant disease resistance; plant growth and development; plant biostimulant; sustainable production
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Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy
Interests: plant pathogenic fungi; mycotoxigenic fungi; biocontrol fungi; fungal ecology; fungal secondary metabolites; fungal genome editing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climatic conditions changes can severely prejudice crop production and plant-defensive mechanisms at worldwide level. In fact, alterations of plant growth and physiology occur, thus increasing the risk of illness, in particular by abiotic stresses, but also biotic ones due to the modified host–pathogen interactions. Although many plants have developed resilience or tolerance to such stresses, they often cause serious losses, and in some cases, they become the limiting factor of production in both open field and under greenhouse cultivation systems. In such a scenario, it is necessary to introduce new strategies for controlling plant diseases in order to help to maintain ecosystems and to boost sustainable agriculture defense practices.

Among microorganisms that inhabit soils, some species of bacteria and fungi are effective as biocontrol agents (BCAs). They are able to reduce the growth of plant pathogens via several mechanisms, such as antibiosis, competition, cross protection, and parasitism. They also induce different defense responses in host plants, such as systemic acquired resistance (SAR) and/or induced systemic resistance (ISR).

Furthermore, some BCAs determine a higher tolerance of the plants against abiotic stresses due to their action in promoting plant growth and development, synergetic or antagonistic interactions between plant hormones, and antioxidant defense mechanisms. At the same time, the resulting BCAs are highly specific for a certain pathogen and hence are advantageously safe for non-target species.

The knowledge of how BCAs cross-talk and interact with the host plant and how they work to control diseases is constantly developing, also thanks to new tools such as “omics” and genome editing approaches.

In this regard, this Special Issue aims to offer the opportunity for a challenge in sustainable agriculture, providing an up-to-date overview of the actual breakthroughs in the use of biological control of plant diseases against pathogens, parasites, and abiotic stressors. Experts and researchers are invited to contribute with original research, short communications, reviews, hypotheses, opinions, and perspectives on all topics related to biological control of plant diseases.

Dr. Antonella Vitti
Dr. Sabrina Sarrocco
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • biological control
  • plant diseases
  • biotic and abiotic stress
  • microorganisms
  • biocontrol agent (BCA)
  • sustainable agriculture

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Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 4078 KiB  
Article
Leaf Extracts from Resistant Wild Tomato Can Be Used to Control Late Blight (Phytophthora infestans) in the Cultivated Tomato
by Ramadan A. Arafa, Said M. Kamel, Dalia I. Taher, Svein Ø. Solberg and Mohamed T. Rakha
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1824; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141824 - 12 Jul 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2516
Abstract
Late blight disease, caused by Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) de Bary, is one of the most challenging diseases threatening tomato production and other Solanaceae crops. Resistance to late blight is found in certain wild species, but the mechanism behind the resistance is not fully [...] Read more.
Late blight disease, caused by Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) de Bary, is one of the most challenging diseases threatening tomato production and other Solanaceae crops. Resistance to late blight is found in certain wild species, but the mechanism behind the resistance is not fully understood. The aim of this study was to examine the metabolic profiles in the leaf tissue of late blight-resistant wild tomato and to investigate if leaf extracts from such genotypes could be used to control late blight in tomato production. We included three recognized late blight-resistant wild tomato accessions of Solanum habrochaites (LA1777, LA2855, and LA1352) and two recognized highly susceptible genotypes, S. lycopersicum (‘Super Strain B’) and S. pimpinellifolium (LA0375). The metabolic profiles were obtained in both inoculated and non-inoculated plants by analyzing leaf extracts using high-resolution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) with three replicate analyses of each genotype. We focused on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and identified 31 such compounds from the five genotypes with a retention time ranging from 6.6 to 22.8 min. The resistant genotype LA 1777 produced the highest number of VOCs (22 and 21 in the inoculated and control plants, respectively), whereas the susceptible genotype ‘Super Strain B’ produced the lowest number of VOCs (11 and 13 in the respective plants). Among the VOCs, 14 were detected only in the resistant genotypes, while two were detected only in the susceptible ones. In vitro trials, with the use of a detached leaflet assay and whole-plant approach, were conducted. We revealed promising insights regarding late blight management and showed that metabolic profiling may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms behind P. infestans resistance in tomato and its wild relatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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19 pages, 6202 KiB  
Article
The Bacillus cereus Strain EC9 Primes the Plant Immune System for Superior Biocontrol of Fusarium oxysporum
by Kenneth Madriz-Ordeñana, Sercan Pazarlar, Hans Jørgen Lyngs Jørgensen, Tue Kjærgaard Nielsen, Yingqi Zhang, Kai Lønne Nielsen, Lars Hestbjerg Hansen and Hans Thordal-Christensen
Plants 2022, 11(5), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050687 - 02 Mar 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3590
Abstract
Antibiosis is a key feature widely exploited to develop biofungicides based on the ability of biological control agents (BCAs) to produce fungitoxic compounds. A less recognised attribute of plant-associated beneficial microorganisms is their ability to stimulate the plant immune system, which may provide [...] Read more.
Antibiosis is a key feature widely exploited to develop biofungicides based on the ability of biological control agents (BCAs) to produce fungitoxic compounds. A less recognised attribute of plant-associated beneficial microorganisms is their ability to stimulate the plant immune system, which may provide long-term, systemic self-protection against different types of pathogens. By using conventional antifungal in vitro screening coupled with in planta assays, we found antifungal and non-antifungal Bacillus strains that protected the ornamental plant Kalanchoe against the soil-borne pathogen Fusarium oxysporum in experimental and commercial production settings. Further examination of one antifungal and one non-antifungal strain indicated that high protection efficacy in planta did not correlate with antifungal activity in vitro. Whole-genome sequencing showed that the non-antifungal strain EC9 lacked the biosynthetic gene clusters associated with typical antimicrobial compounds. Instead, this bacterium triggers the expression of marker genes for the jasmonic and salicylic acid defence pathways, but only after pathogen challenge, indicating that this strain may protect Kalanchoe plants by priming immunity. We suggest that the stimulation of the plant immune system is a promising mode of action of BCAs for the development of novel biological crop protection products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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15 pages, 1905 KiB  
Article
Trichoderma-Induced Resistance to Botrytis cinerea in Solanum Species: A Meta-Analysis
by Samuele Risoli, Lorenzo Cotrozzi, Sabrina Sarrocco, Maria Nuzzaci, Elisa Pellegrini and Antonella Vitti
Plants 2022, 11(2), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11020180 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2643
Abstract
With the idea of summarizing the outcomes of studies focusing on the resistance induced by Trichoderma spp. against Botrytis cinerea in tomato, the present paper shows, for the first time, results of a meta-analysis performed on studies published from 2010 to 2021 concerning [...] Read more.
With the idea of summarizing the outcomes of studies focusing on the resistance induced by Trichoderma spp. against Botrytis cinerea in tomato, the present paper shows, for the first time, results of a meta-analysis performed on studies published from 2010 to 2021 concerning the cross-talk occurring in the tomato–Trichoderma-B. cinerea system. Starting from an initial set of 40 papers, the analysis was performed on 15 works and included nine parameters, as a result of a stringent selection mainly based on the availability of more than one article including the same indicator. The resulting work not only emphasizes the beneficial effects of Trichoderma in the control of grey mold in tomato leaves (reduction in disease intensity, severity and incidence and modulation of resistance genes in the host), but carefully drives the readers to reply to two questions: (i) What are the overall effects of Trichoderma on B. cinerea infection in tomato? (ii) Do the main effects of Trichoderma differ based on the tomato species, Trichoderma species, amount, type and duration of treatment? At the same time, this meta-analysis highlights some weak points of the available literature and should be seen as an invitation to improve future works to better the conceptualization and measure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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23 pages, 2979 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Involvement of Selected Phenotypes of Pseudomonas simiae PICF7 in Olive Root Colonization and Biological Control of Verticillium dahliae
by Nuria Montes-Osuna, Carmen Gómez-Lama Cabanás, Antonio Valverde-Corredor, Roeland L. Berendsen, Pilar Prieto and Jesús Mercado-Blanco
Plants 2021, 10(2), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020412 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3194
Abstract
Pseudomonas simiae PICF7 is an indigenous inhabitant of the olive (Olea europaea L.) rhizosphere/root endosphere and an effective biocontrol agent against Verticillium wilt of olive (VWO), caused by the soil-borne fungus Verticillium dahliae. This study aimed to evaluate the potential involvement [...] Read more.
Pseudomonas simiae PICF7 is an indigenous inhabitant of the olive (Olea europaea L.) rhizosphere/root endosphere and an effective biocontrol agent against Verticillium wilt of olive (VWO), caused by the soil-borne fungus Verticillium dahliae. This study aimed to evaluate the potential involvement of selected phenotypes of strain PICF7 in root colonization ability and VWO biocontrol. Therefore, a random transposon-insertion mutant bank of P. simiae PICF7 was screened for the loss of phenotypes likely involved in rhizosphere/soil persistence (copper resistance), root colonization (biofilm formation) and plant growth promotion (phytase activity). Transposon insertions in genes putatively coding for the transcriptional regulator CusR or the chemotaxis protein CheV were found to affect copper resistance, whereas an insertion in fleQ gene putatively encoding a flagellar regulatory protein hampered the ability to form a biofilm. However, these mutants displayed the same antagonistic effect against V. dahliae as the parental strain. Remarkably, two mutants impaired in biofilm formation were never found inside olive roots, whereas their ability to colonize the root exterior and to control VWO remained unaffected. Endophytic colonization of olive roots was unaltered in mutants impaired in copper resistance and phytase production. Results demonstrated that the phenotypes studied were irrelevant for VWO biocontrol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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19 pages, 23560 KiB  
Article
Effects of Lacto-Fermented Agricultural By-Products as a Natural Disinfectant against Post-Harvest Diseases of Mango (Mangifera indica L.)
by Fernando H. Ranjith, Belal J. Muhialdin, Noor L. Yusof, Nameer K. Mohammed, Muhammad H. Miskandar and Anis Shobirin Meor Hussin
Plants 2021, 10(2), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020285 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3834
Abstract
Background: the antagonism activity of lactic acid bacteria metabolites has the potential to prevent fungal growth on mango. Methods: the potential of developing natural disinfectant while using watermelon rinds (WR), pineapple (PP), orange peels (OP), palm kernel cake (PKC), and rice bran (RB), [...] Read more.
Background: the antagonism activity of lactic acid bacteria metabolites has the potential to prevent fungal growth on mango. Methods: the potential of developing natural disinfectant while using watermelon rinds (WR), pineapple (PP), orange peels (OP), palm kernel cake (PKC), and rice bran (RB), via lacto-fermentation was investigated. The obtained lactic acid bacteria (LAB) metabolites were then employed and the in vitro antifungal activity toward five spoilage fungi of mango was tested through liquid and solid systems. Besides, the effect of the produced disinfectant on the fungal growth inhibition and quality of mango was investigated. Results: the strains Lactobacillus plantarum ATCC8014 and Lactobacillus fermentum ATCC9338 growing in the substrates PKC and PP exhibited significantly higher in vitro antifungal activity against Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and Botryodiplodia theobromae as compared to other tested LAB strains and substrates. The in-situ results demonstrated that mango samples that were treated with the disinfectant produced from PKC fermented with L. plantarum and L. fermentum had the lowest disease incidence and disease severity index after 16 days shelf life, as well as the lowest conidial concentration. Furthermore, PKC that was fermented by L. fermentum highly maintained the quality of the mango. Conclusions: lactic acid fermentation of PKC by L. fermentum demonstrated a high potential for use as a natural disinfectant to control C. gloeosporioides and B. theobromae on mango. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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14 pages, 12641 KiB  
Article
Identification and Characterization of a Streptomyces albus Strain and Its Secondary Metabolite Organophosphate against Charcoal Rot of Sorghum
by Subramaniam Gopalakrishnan, Rajan Sharma, Vadlamudi Srinivas, Nimmala Naresh, Suraj P. Mishra, Sravani Ankati, Sambangi Pratyusha, Mahalingam Govindaraj, Susana V. Gonzalez, Sondre Nervik and Nebojsa Simic
Plants 2020, 9(12), 1727; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9121727 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3124
Abstract
Streptomycesalbus strain CAI-21 has been previously reported to have plant growth-promotion abilities in chickpea, pigeonpea, rice, and sorghum. The strain CAI-21 and its secondary metabolite were evaluated for their biocontrol potential against charcoal rot disease in sorghum caused by Macrophomina phaseolina. [...] Read more.
Streptomycesalbus strain CAI-21 has been previously reported to have plant growth-promotion abilities in chickpea, pigeonpea, rice, and sorghum. The strain CAI-21 and its secondary metabolite were evaluated for their biocontrol potential against charcoal rot disease in sorghum caused by Macrophomina phaseolina. Results exhibited that CAI-21 significantly inhibited the growth of the pathogen, M. phaseolina, in dual-culture (15 mm; zone of inhibition), metabolite production (74% inhibition), and blotter paper (90% inhibition) assays. When CAI-21 was tested for its biocontrol potential under greenhouse and field conditions following inoculation of M. phaseolina by toothpick method, it significantly reduced the number of internodes infected (75% and 45% less, respectively) and length of infection (75% and 51% less, respectively) over the positive control (only M. phaseolina inoculated) plants. Under greenhouse conditions, scanning electron microscopic analysis showed that the phloem and xylem tissues of the CAI-21-treated shoot samples were intact compared to those of the diseased stem samples. The culture filtrate of the CAI-21 was purified by various chromatographic techniques, and the active compound was identified as “organophosphate” by NMR and MS. The efficacy of organophosphate was found to inhibit the growth of M. phaseolina in the poisoned food technique. This study indicates that S.albus CAI-21 and its active metabolite organophosphate have the potential to control charcoal rot in sorghum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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14 pages, 7501 KiB  
Article
Pseudomonas putida Represses JA- and SA-Mediated Defense Pathways in Rice and Promotes an Alternative Defense Mechanism Possibly through ABA Signaling
by Rui Wang, Hai-Lin Wang, Rui-Ping Tang, Meng-Ying Sun, Tang-Min Chen, Xu-Chu Duan, Xiao-Feng Lu, Dong Liu, Xin-Chi Shi, Pedro Laborda and Su-Yan Wang
Plants 2020, 9(12), 1641; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9121641 - 24 Nov 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2488
Abstract
The signaling pathways induced by Pseudomonas putida in rice plants at the early plant–rhizobacteria interaction stages, with and without inoculation of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, were studied. In the absence of pathogen, P. putida reduced ethylene (ET) production, and promoted root and [...] Read more.
The signaling pathways induced by Pseudomonas putida in rice plants at the early plant–rhizobacteria interaction stages, with and without inoculation of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, were studied. In the absence of pathogen, P. putida reduced ethylene (ET) production, and promoted root and stem elongation. Interestingly, gene OsHDA702, which plays an important role in root formation, was found significantly up-regulated in the presence of the rhizobacterium. Although X. oryzae pv. oryzae inoculation enhanced ET production in rice plants, P. putida treatment repressed ET-, jasmonic acid (JA)- and salicylic acid (SA)-mediated defense pathways, and induced the biosynthesis of abscisic acid (ABA), and the overexpression of OsHDA705 and some pathogenesis-related proteins (PRs), which in turn increased the susceptibility of the rice plants against the pathogen. Collectively, this is the first work on the defense signaling induced by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria in plants at the early interaction stages, and suggests that rhizobacteria stimulate an alternative defense mechanism in plants based on ABA accumulation and OsHDA705 signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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16 pages, 6287 KiB  
Article
Antagonistic Potential of Novel Endophytic Bacillus Strains and Mediation of Plant Defense against Verticillium Wilt in Upland Cotton
by Nadeem Hasan, Ayaz Farzand, Zhou Heng, Irfan Ullah Khan, Anam Moosa, Muhammad Zubair, Yang Na, Sun Ying and Tang Canming
Plants 2020, 9(11), 1438; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111438 - 25 Oct 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2984
Abstract
Verticillium wilt caused by Verticillium dahliae is a threatening disease of cotton, causing economic loss worldwide. In this study, nine endophytic Bacillus strains isolated from cotton roots exhibited inhibitory activity against V. dahliae strain VD-080 in a dual culture assay. B. altitudinis HNH7 [...] Read more.
Verticillium wilt caused by Verticillium dahliae is a threatening disease of cotton, causing economic loss worldwide. In this study, nine endophytic Bacillus strains isolated from cotton roots exhibited inhibitory activity against V. dahliae strain VD-080 in a dual culture assay. B. altitudinis HNH7 and B. velezensis HNH9 were chosen for further experiments based on their high antagonistic activity. The secondary metabolites of HNH7 and HNH9 also inhibited the growth of VD-080. Genetic marker-assisted detection revealed the presence of bacillibactin, surfactin, bacillomycin and fengycin encoding genes in the genome of HNH7 and HNH9 and their corresponding gene products were validated through LC-MS. Scanning electron microscopy revealed mycelial disintegration, curling and shrinkage of VD-080 hyphae after treatment with methanolic extracts of the isolated endophytes. Furthermore, a significant reduction in verticillium wilt severity was noticed in cotton plants treated with HNH7 and HNH9 as compared to control treatments. Moreover, the expression of defense-linked genes, viz., MPK3, GST, SOD, PAL, PPO and HMGR, was considerably higher in plants treated with endophytic Bacillus strains and inoculated with VD-080 as compared to control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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17 pages, 3211 KiB  
Article
Endophytic Trichoderma Species Isolated from Persea americana and Cinnamomum verum Roots Reduce Symptoms Caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi in Avocado
by Petra Andrade-Hoyos, Hilda Victoria Silva-Rojas and Omar Romero-Arenas
Plants 2020, 9(9), 1220; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091220 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 6109
Abstract
Avocado root rot caused by the oomycete Phytophthora cinnamomi is a severe disease that affects avocado production in Mexico and worldwide. The use of biological control agents such as Trichoderma species isolated from places where the disease is always present, represents an efficient [...] Read more.
Avocado root rot caused by the oomycete Phytophthora cinnamomi is a severe disease that affects avocado production in Mexico and worldwide. The use of biological control agents such as Trichoderma species isolated from places where the disease is always present, represents an efficient alternative to reduce losses. Thus, the objective of this research was to evaluate the biocontrol ability of 10 endophytic Trichoderma spp. strains against P. cinnamomi tested both in vitro and in the greenhouse. The endophytic Trichoderma spp. were recovered from Persea americana and Cinnamomum verum roots, isolated and purified on potato–dextrose–agar medium. Ten strains were identified by phylogenetic reconstruction of the internal transcribed spacer region of rDNA sequences as T. asperellum (T-AS1, T-AS2, T-AS6, and T-AS7), T. harzianum (T-H3, T-H4, and T-H5), T. hamatum (T-A12), T. koningiopsis (T-K8 and T-K11), and P. cinnamomi (CPO-PCU). In vitro dual-culture assay, the percentage of inhibition of radial growth (PIRG) between Trichoderma spp. and P. cinnamomi strains was measured according to the Bell’s scale. PIRG results indicated that T-AS2 reached the highest value of 78.32%, and T-H5 reached the lowest value of 38.66%. In the greenhouse, the infection was evaluated according to the percentage of disease incidence. Plants with the lowest incidence of dead by avocado root rot were those whose seedlings were inoculated with T-AS2 and T-AS7, resulting in only 5% death by root rot caused by P. cinnamomi. The disease incidence of seedlings with wilt symptoms and death decreased more than 50% in the presence of Trichoderma spp. Relying on the results, we conclude that T. asperellum and T. harzianum contribute to the biocontrol of soil-borne pathogenic oomycete P. cinnamomi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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Review

Jump to: Research

16 pages, 1235 KiB  
Review
Secretion-Based Modes of Action of Biocontrol Agents with a Focus on Pseudozyma aphidis
by Dhruv Aditya Srivastava, Raviv Harris, Gilli Breuer and Maggie Levy
Plants 2021, 10(2), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020210 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4056
Abstract
Plant pathogens challenge our efforts to maximize crop production due to their ability to rapidly develop resistance to pesticides. Fungal biocontrol agents have become an important alternative to chemical fungicides, due to environmental concerns related to the latter. Here we review the complex [...] Read more.
Plant pathogens challenge our efforts to maximize crop production due to their ability to rapidly develop resistance to pesticides. Fungal biocontrol agents have become an important alternative to chemical fungicides, due to environmental concerns related to the latter. Here we review the complex modes of action of biocontrol agents in general and epiphytic yeasts belonging to the genus Pseudozyma specifically and P. aphidis in particular. Biocontrol agents act through multiple direct and indirect mechanisms, which are mainly based on their secretions. We discuss the direct modes of action, such as antibiosis, reactive oxygen species-producing, and cell wall-degrading enzyme secretions which can also play a role in mycoparasitism. In addition, we discuss indirect modes of action, such as hyperbiotrophy, induced resistance and growth promotion based on the secretion of effectors and elicitors from the biocontrol agent. Due to their unique characteristics, epiphytic yeasts hold great potential for use as biocontrol agents, which may be more environmentally friendly than conventional pesticides and provide a way to reduce our dependency on fungicides based on increasingly expensive fossil fuels. No less important, the complex mode of action of Pseudozyma-based biocontrol agents can also reduce the frequency of resistance developed by pathogens to these agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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28 pages, 1222 KiB  
Review
Paecilomyces and Its Importance in the Biological Control of Agricultural Pests and Diseases
by Alejandro Moreno-Gavíra, Victoria Huertas, Fernando Diánez, Brenda Sánchez-Montesinos and Mila Santos
Plants 2020, 9(12), 1746; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9121746 - 10 Dec 2020
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 9611
Abstract
Incorporating beneficial microorganisms in crop production is the most promising strategy for maintaining agricultural productivity and reducing the use of inorganic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Numerous microorganisms have been described in the literature as biological control agents for pests and diseases, although some [...] Read more.
Incorporating beneficial microorganisms in crop production is the most promising strategy for maintaining agricultural productivity and reducing the use of inorganic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Numerous microorganisms have been described in the literature as biological control agents for pests and diseases, although some have not yet been commercialised due to their lack of viability or efficacy in different crops. Paecilomyces is a cosmopolitan fungus that is mainly known for its nematophagous capacity, but it has also been reported as an insect parasite and biological control agent of several fungi and phytopathogenic bacteria through different mechanisms of action. In addition, species of this genus have recently been described as biostimulants of plant growth and crop yield. This review includes all the information on the genus Paecilomyces as a biological control agent for pests and diseases. Its growth rate and high spore production rate in numerous substrates ensures the production of viable, affordable, and efficient commercial formulations for agricultural use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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