Special Issue "The Challenge of Coping with Globally and Locally Emerging Fungal and Oomycetes Plant Pathogens"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Santa Olga Cacciola
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A), University of Catania, 95123 Catania CT, Italy
Interests: oomycetes and fungal diseases diagnosis; molecular diagnosis; emerging plant diseases; plant disease management strategies
Prof. Dr. Maria Lodovica Gullino
Website
Guest Editor
Centro di Competenza Agroinnova and DISAFA, University of Torino, 10124 Torino TO, Italy
Interests: plant pathology; plant disease management; plant and food biosecurity; climate change and plant disease
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The General Assembly of United Nations proclaimed 2020 the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH), with the aims of raising awareness of the importance of plant health for a sustainable development and supporting plant health policies and plant protection services as strategic aspects of global food security, economic development, environment protection, and human health. The scope of this Special Issue is to highlight globally or locally emerging and re-emerging diseases of agricultural crops, ornamentals, and landscape and forest plants, addressing the threat they pose to food security, national and international economy, biodiversity, and the stability of natural ecosystems, and evoke sustainable strategies to cope with them. The emergence of new plant diseases caused by fungi and oomycetes as a consequence of different drivers, including globalization and climate change, is a never ending challenge, and new management strategies have to be developed to counteract the reduction of available fungicides due to justified environmental and human health concerns. An aspect to which particular emphasis will be given is the contribution of new sciences and technologies, such as molecular taxonomy, omics, high throughput sequencing, genome editing, biomatematics, epidemiological modeling, nanotechnologies, and remote sensing, as well as new technical tools, such as sentinel-trees, in situ diagnostics, biostimulants, resistance inducers, eco-friendly substances, and fungicides with specific-activity, in the development of innovative disease management strategies that help increase productivity and ensure food security as well as environmental and human health. Reviews and original research articles dealing with new problems posed by well-known diseases and innovative strategies for their management or addressing new diseases for which it is necessary to develop specific protection tools or modify currently applied management strategies fit the scope of this Issue.

Dr. Santa Olga Cacciola
Prof. Dr. Maria Lodovica Gullino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • alert pathogens
  • environment protection and human health
  • climate changes
  • driving factors
  • diagnostics

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Colletotrichum ocimi Population Associated with Black Spot of Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) in Northern Italy
Plants 2020, 9(5), 654; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050654 - 22 May 2020
Abstract
Black spot is a major foliar disease of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) present in a typical cultivation area of northern Italy, including the Liguria and southern Piedmont regions, where this aromatic herb is an economically important crop. In this study, 15 [...] Read more.
Black spot is a major foliar disease of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) present in a typical cultivation area of northern Italy, including the Liguria and southern Piedmont regions, where this aromatic herb is an economically important crop. In this study, 15 Colletotrichum isolates obtained from sweet basil plants with symptoms of black spot sampled in this area were characterized morphologically and by nuclear DNA analysis using internal transcribed spacers (ITS) and intervening 5.8S nrDNA as well as part of the β-tubulin gene (TUB2) regions as barcode markers. Analysis revealed all but one isolate belonged to the recently described species C. ocimi of the C. destructivum species complex. Only one isolate was identified as C. destructivum sensu stricto (s.s.). In pathogenicity tests on sweet basil, both C. ocimi and C. destructivum s.s. isolates incited typical symptoms of black spot, showing that although C. ocimi prevails in this basil production area, it is not the sole causal agent of black spot in northern Italy. While no other hosts of C. ocimi are known worldwide, the close related species C. destructivum has a broad host range, suggesting a speciation process of C. ocimi within this species complex driven by adaptation to the host. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pathological and Epidemiological Characterization of First Outbreak of Daylily Rust in Europe and Evaluation of Puccinia hemerocallidis Resistance in Hemerocallis Cultivars
Plants 2020, 9(4), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040427 - 31 Mar 2020
Abstract
Daylily rust—caused by Puccinia hemerocallidis—was confined to Eastern Asia until the disease was reported in Oceania, Africa, the Americas and Portugal in the 21st century. Although information on rust resistance of American cultivars is available, little is known about the resistance of [...] Read more.
Daylily rust—caused by Puccinia hemerocallidis—was confined to Eastern Asia until the disease was reported in Oceania, Africa, the Americas and Portugal in the 21st century. Although information on rust resistance of American cultivars is available, little is known about the resistance of European bred cultivars, threating the ornamental sector if the fungus spreads to other European countries. Aiming to provide tools to address this, we analyzed the Portuguese pathogens and characterized rust resistance in a selection of cultivars, while optimizing disease rating scales. Morphologic, genetic and cytogenomic characterization of four isolates reveals narrow diversity and raises the question whether the pathogen may have originated in North- or Central America. Daily records of multiple symptomatologic parameters enabled a detailed disease progress analysis, discriminating cultivars according to their resistance levels and revealing susceptibility as the most common state. Among the tested cultivars, 12 out of 17 began to show symptoms between 6–8 dai and were classified as susceptible. Cultivars ‘Stella d’Oro’, ‘Bitsy’ and ‘Cherry Tiger’ behaved as moderately resistant although the occurrence of late sporulation on leaves suggests incomplete resistance and challenges common rating scales. The identification of resistance sources in European breeding lines is crucial for the sustainable future of daylilies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Search for Quorum Sensing in Botrytis cinerea: Regulatory Activity of Its Extracts on Its Development
Plants 2020, 9(2), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9020168 - 31 Jan 2020
Abstract
Botrytis cinerea is a phytopathogenic fungus that causes large crop and post-harvest losses. Therefore, new and effective strategies are needed to control the disease and to reduce resistance to fungicides. Modulating pathogenicity and virulence by manipulating microbial communication is a promising strategy. This [...] Read more.
Botrytis cinerea is a phytopathogenic fungus that causes large crop and post-harvest losses. Therefore, new and effective strategies are needed to control the disease and to reduce resistance to fungicides. Modulating pathogenicity and virulence by manipulating microbial communication is a promising strategy. This communication mechanism, called Quorum Sensing (QS), has already been reported in bacteria and yeasts; however, it has not yet been studied in B. cinerea. To establish the existence of this biochemical process in B. cinerea, we prepared extracts at different growth times (D1-D12), which were applied to fresh cultures of the same fungi. The chemical analysis of the extracts obtained from several fermentations showed different compositions and biological activities. We confirmed the presence of several phytotoxins, as well as compounds 1-phenylethanol and 3-phenylpropanol. Day five extract (0.1%) inhibited conidia germination and elongation of germ tubes, day seven extract (1%) produced the greatest phytotoxic effect in tomato leaves, and day nine extract (0.1%) was a sporulation inhibitor. In contrast, the extracts from days 7, 9, and 12 of fermentation (0.1% and 0.01%) promoted pellet and biofilm formation. Sporulation was slightly induced at 0.01%, while at 0.1% there was a great inhibition. At the highest extract concentrations, a biocidal effect was detected, but at the lowest, we observed a QS-like effect, regulating processes such as filamentation, morphogenesis, and pathogenesis. These results of the biological activity and composition of extracts suggest the existence of a QS-like mechanism in B. cinerea, which could lead to new non-biocidal alternatives for its control through interference in the pathogenicity and virulence mechanisms of the fungi. Full article
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Open AccessBrief Report
First Report of Root Rot Caused by Phytophthora bilorbang on Olea europaea in Italy
Plants 2020, 9(7), 826; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070826 - 30 Jun 2020
Abstract
Leaf chlorosis, severe defoliation and wilt associated with root rot were observed on mature olive trees cv. Nera di Gonnos in an experimental orchard at Mirto Crosia (Calabria, southern Italy). An oomycete was consistently isolated from rotten roots of symptomatic olive trees. It [...] Read more.
Leaf chlorosis, severe defoliation and wilt associated with root rot were observed on mature olive trees cv. Nera di Gonnos in an experimental orchard at Mirto Crosia (Calabria, southern Italy). An oomycete was consistently isolated from rotten roots of symptomatic olive trees. It was identified as Phytophthora bilorbang by morphological characters and sequencing of Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) regions of ribosomal DNA (rDNA). Pathogenicity was verified by inoculating potted two-month-old rooted cuttings of Olea europaea var. Nera di Gonnos in a soil infestation trial. P. bilorbang was re-isolated from roots of symptomatic, artificially inoculated olive cuttings to fulfill Koch’s postulates. This is the first report of P. bilorbang on O. europaea L. and on a species of the Oleaceae family worldwide. Full article
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