Applications of Plant Pathology in Horticultural and Floricultural Crops

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Pest and Disease Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2022) | Viewed by 38654

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and Forest Science, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
Interests: horticulture crops; tomato; viruses; diagnosis; epidemiology; alien pest

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Guest Editor
Italian National Research Council, Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection, 10138 Torino, Italy
Interests: molecular biology of plant pathogens; quarantine plant pathogens; innovative precision diagnostics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant pathogens are responsible for agronomic and economic losses worldwide. Generally, in plant pathology, prevention is better than cure, because plant diseases are difficult to control. Horticultural and floricultural crops represent the biggest trade worldwide in the agricultural world. These crops are moved for marketing from country to country through seeds, cuttings or seedling in extremely short times. With the movement of these crops, pathogens also move, which can cause serious damage in new areas. In particular, the movement of different crops could lead in the future to increasing risks due to the introduction of new emerging pathogens or the recrudescence of old pathogens with a consequent great negative impact in the agriculture and environmental sustainability. In view of the above, a more integrated and multidisciplinary approach to pest management is need. New methods of early and rapid diagnosis, sampling methodologies for the detection of pathogens, epidemic key factors, study and prediction of movement of new pathogens, traditional breeding coupled with new laboratory technologies, sanitary certification, cross-protection, plant resistance, and vector management represent the key factors for the development of the new modern agriculture. This Special Issue focuses on the state-of-the-art and the new proposals of the abovementioned key factors. In this Special Issue, we would like to include reviews, research papers, and opinions regarding advances in biotechnological applications in horticultural and floricultural crops.

Prof. Salvatore Davino
Dr. Slavica Matic
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • alien pest
  • plant pathogens
  • epidemiology
  • early detection
  • molecular and traditional breeding
  • sanitary certification
  • cross-protection

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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26 pages, 7538 KiB  
Article
Pathogenic Variability of the Jackfruit-Bronzing Bacterium Pantoea stewartii Subspecies stewartii Infection to Jackfruit Varieties and Its Pivotal Plant Hosts in Malaysia
by Nuraizat Abidin, Siti Izera Ismail, Ganesan Vadamalai, Mohd Termizi Yusof, Mansor Hakiman, Daljit Singh Karam and Dzarifah Zulperi
Agronomy 2021, 11(11), 2113; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11112113 - 21 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4151
Abstract
Infection with Pantoea stewartii subspecies stewartii, which causes jackfruit-bronzing disease, is a huge problem faced by the jackfruit industry in Malaysia. This study was carried out to assess the disease ratings and aggressiveness performance of 28 Pantoea stewartii subspecies stewartii isolated from [...] Read more.
Infection with Pantoea stewartii subspecies stewartii, which causes jackfruit-bronzing disease, is a huge problem faced by the jackfruit industry in Malaysia. This study was carried out to assess the disease ratings and aggressiveness performance of 28 Pantoea stewartii subspecies stewartii isolated from jackfruit-bronzing diseased jackfruits from four collection areas (Jenderam in Selangor State, Maran and Muadzam Shah in Pahang State, and Ipoh in Perak State) in Peninsular Malaysia, inoculated into jackfruit varieties (Tekam Yellow J33, Hong J34 and Subang Chap Boy J39), the sweetcorn variety, Mas Madu (two-week-old seedlings and nine-week-old seedlings), the cucumber variety, Rocky, and the pineapple variety, MD2. The results revealed that Pantoea stewartii subspecies stewartii produced symptoms upon all inoculations in the pathogenicity testing, thus fulfilling Koch’s postulates, except in the case of J39 and sweetcorn (two-week-old seedlings). No disease symptoms (disease rating 0) were observed in J39 and sweetcorn (two-week-old seedlings) within 14 days post-inoculation (14 dpi). The disease progression (based on disease ratings) proved that the jackfruit variety J39 was the most resistant, whereas J33 and J34 were susceptible to jackfruit-bronzing disease. The disease ratings of the 14-dpi period revealed a variability of disease progression among the 28 bacterial isolates, where the isolate JEN-14 had the fastest and highest disease ratings when inoculated into J33, J34, nine-week-old sweetcorn seedlings, cucumber, and pineapple. Likewise, the AUDPC value, based on disease rating, across the 28 isolates indicated that JEN-14 is the most aggressive and significant of the isolates (J33, J34, nine-week-old sweetcorn seedlings, cucumber, and cucumber pineapple inoculation; p < 0.05). Even though isolates from Jenderam (other than JEN-14) and Maran had better disease ratings and the area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC) values than isolates from Muadzam Shah and Ipoh, no significant differences were found among the isolates (p < 0.05). Based on our findings, we identified the isolate JEN-14 as the best potential candidate to assist in jackfruit-bronzing disease resistance breeding in the future. Last but not least, the methods, disease ratings, and variations of the aggressiveness profiles among the isolates from this study may be beneficial and significant by providing disease-rating references and appropriate screening approaches when selecting the most appropriately aggressive isolates for evaluating the defense response in the disease resistance breeding program. Full article
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16 pages, 3100 KiB  
Article
Current Classification and Diversity of Fusarium Species Complex, the Causal Pathogen of Fusarium Wilt Disease of Banana in Malaysia
by Anysia Hedy Ujat, Ganesan Vadamalai, Yukako Hattori, Chiharu Nakashima, Clement Kiing Fook Wong and Dzarifah Zulperi
Agronomy 2021, 11(10), 1955; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11101955 - 28 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4608
Abstract
The re-emergence of the Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium odoratissimum (F. odoratissimum) causes global banana production loss. Thirty-eight isolates of Fusarium species (Fusarium spp.) were examined for morphological characteristics on different media, showing the typical Fusarium spp. The phylogenetic trees [...] Read more.
The re-emergence of the Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium odoratissimum (F. odoratissimum) causes global banana production loss. Thirty-eight isolates of Fusarium species (Fusarium spp.) were examined for morphological characteristics on different media, showing the typical Fusarium spp. The phylogenetic trees of Fusarium isolates were generated using the sequences of histone gene (H3) and translation elongation factor gene (TEF-1α). Specific primers were used to confirm the presence of F. odoratissimum. The phylogenetic trees showed the rich diversity of the genus Fusarium related to Fusarium wilt, which consists of F. odoratissimum, Fusarium grosmichelii, Fusarium sacchari, and an unknown species of the Fusarium oxysporum species complex. By using Foc-TR4 specific primers, 27 isolates were confirmed as F. odoratissimum. A pathogenicity test was conducted for 30 days on five different local cultivars including, Musa acuminata (AAA, AA) and Musa paradisiaca (AAB, ABB). Although foliar symptoms showed different severity of those disease progression, vascular symptoms of the inoculated plantlet showed that infection was uniformly severe. Therefore, it can be concluded that the Fusarium oxysporum species complex related to Fusarium wilt of banana in Malaysia is rich in diversity, and F. odoratissimum has pathogenicity to local banana cultivars in Malaysia regardless of the genotype of the banana plants. Full article
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16 pages, 5474 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Phomopsis juglandina (Sacc.) Hohn. Associated with Dieback of Walnut in the Climatic Conditions of Southern Romania
by Cristina Mihaescu, Daniel Dunea, Adrian Gheorghe Bășa and Loredana Neagu Frasin
Agronomy 2021, 11(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11010046 - 28 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2883
Abstract
Phomopsis juglandina (Sacc.) Höhn., which is the conidial state of Diaporthe juglandina (Fuckel) Nitschke, and the main pathogen causing the dieback of branches and twigs of walnut was recently detected in many orchards from Romania. The symptomatological, morphological, ultrastructural, and cultural characteristics, as [...] Read more.
Phomopsis juglandina (Sacc.) Höhn., which is the conidial state of Diaporthe juglandina (Fuckel) Nitschke, and the main pathogen causing the dieback of branches and twigs of walnut was recently detected in many orchards from Romania. The symptomatological, morphological, ultrastructural, and cultural characteristics, as well as the pathogenicity of an isolate of this lignicolous fungus, were described and illustrated. The optimum periods for infection, under the conditions prevailing in Southern Romania, mainly occur in the spring (April) and autumn months (late September-beginning of October). Strong inverse correlations (p < 0.001) were found between potential evapotranspiration and lesion lengths on walnut branches in 2019. The pathogen forms two types of phialospores: alpha and beta; the role of beta phialospores is not well known in pathogenesis. In Vitro, the optimal growth temperature of mycelial hyphae was in the range of 22–26 °C, and the optimal pH is 4.4–7. This pathogen should be monitored continuously due to its potential for damaging infestations of intensive plantations. Full article
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14 pages, 2429 KiB  
Article
Preliminary Study on the Control of Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus in Commercial Greenhouses Using Agricultural Disinfectants and Resistant Cucumber Varieties
by Walid Ellouze, Vachaspati Mishra, Ronald J. Howard, Kai-Shu Ling and Weizheng Zhang
Agronomy 2020, 10(12), 1879; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10121879 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3724
Abstract
Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) is a re-emerging threat to greenhouse cucumber and other Cucurbitaceae crop production worldwide. This seed-borne virus can easily spread from a contaminated seeds to seedlings and to adjacent plants through mechanical contact of the foliage of diseased [...] Read more.
Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) is a re-emerging threat to greenhouse cucumber and other Cucurbitaceae crop production worldwide. This seed-borne virus can easily spread from a contaminated seeds to seedlings and to adjacent plants through mechanical contact of the foliage of diseased and healthy plants causing extensive yield losses. Additionally, infection may not be limited to the current crop but may also affect subsequent crops due to the long-term persistence of the virus on contaminated crop residues, greenhouse hard surfaces and soil or soil-less greenhouse substrates. In the present work, three greenhouse experiments were conducted to develop an integrated pest management strategy towards controlling CGMMV in commercial cucumber greenhouses, by implementing an effective sanitization program and using resistant and grafted cucumber varieties. Results of sanitization highlighted that pressure washing and cleansing with an alkaline foam cleanser eliminated CGMMV on some of the most heavily infested areas. However, three successive applications of cleanser and disinfectants were essential to completely eliminate CGMMV on porous and uneven surfaces, such as cement alleyway, tray gutters and floor mats. The screening of 15 cucumber varieties revealed that one Mini (‘Khassib’) and three Long English (‘Sepire’, ‘Bomber’ and ‘LC13900′) had reduced or delayed CGMMV infection spread in the greenhouse but were intermediate in yield. The most resistant Mini variety was ‘Katrina’. This variety showed low CGMMV infection level and high fruit yield. The varieties ‘Jawell’, ‘RZ 22-551′, ‘Sunniwell’, ‘Bonbon’ and ‘Dee Lite’ were the most tolerant to CGMMV. They showed a high CGMMV infection level without compromising yield. These results proved the need for new productive cucumber varieties with CGMMV resistance. Grafting experiments showed a yield increase only in the case of grafted ‘Picowell’ over ‘Bonbon’ but no CGMMV resistance, which is a much more desirable result of grafting experiments in order to have economic potential. In all, the current study revealed unique methods of CGMMV management in commercial greenhouses that are recommended to growers for reducing crop losses and improving economic returns. Full article
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11 pages, 1573 KiB  
Article
Identification of Pomegranate as a New Host of Passiflora Edulis Symptomless Virus (PeSV) and Analysis of PeSV Diversity
by Kadriye Caglayan, Mona Gazel, Vahid Roumi, Hamide Deniz Kocabag, Bahar Tunç, Jean Sebastien Reynard, Ana Belén Ruiz-García, Antonio Olmos and Thierry Candresse
Agronomy 2020, 10(11), 1821; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111821 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3186
Abstract
Pomegranate is an important crop in the Mediterranean Basin that can be affected by a range of pathogens. With the aim to better understand the impact of viral diseases on pomegranate, two leaf samples from Turkey showing virus-like symptoms such as chlorotic spots [...] Read more.
Pomegranate is an important crop in the Mediterranean Basin that can be affected by a range of pathogens. With the aim to better understand the impact of viral diseases on pomegranate, two leaf samples from Turkey showing virus-like symptoms such as chlorotic spots and oak-leaf patterns were subjected to high throughput sequencing (HTS). Data analysis indicated the presence of passiflora edulis symptomless virus (PeSV: genus Roymovirus, Potyviridae family) in these two pomegranate samples, consistent with the observation by electron microscopy of flexuous filamentous viral particles 760 to 780 nm long. Further analysis of HTS reads revealed the presence of five PeSV variants in one of the samples and another single variant in the other. PeSV occurrence was also identified from publicly available SRA pomegranate RNA-Seq transcriptomic data from India and China. The genome of these PeSV-pomegranate variants share 78.0–86.8% nucleotide identity with that of the reference isolate from passionfruit (MH379332). The presence of PeSV in pomegranate was confirmed by specific RT-PCR assays targeting either the coat protein (CP) or Nla-Pro genes in 37 cultivated and one ornamental pomegranate out of 133 samples collected from the Eastern Mediterranean region of Turkey. To our knowledge, this is the first application of HTS to assess virus occurrence in pomegranate and the first recognition of pomegranate as a new host for PeSV. Full article
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Review

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45 pages, 12857 KiB  
Review
A Review of the Most Common and Economically Important Diseases That Undermine the Cultivation of Tomato Crop in the Mediterranean Basin
by Stefano Panno, Salvatore Davino, Andrea Giovanni Caruso, Sofia Bertacca, Ana Crnogorac, Ana Mandić, Emanuela Noris and Slavica Matić
Agronomy 2021, 11(11), 2188; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11112188 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 99 | Viewed by 17946
Abstract
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), family Solanaceae, has become in the past fifty years one of the most important and extensively grown horticultural crops in the Mediterranean region and throughout the world. In 2019, more than 180 million tonnes of tomato have [...] Read more.
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), family Solanaceae, has become in the past fifty years one of the most important and extensively grown horticultural crops in the Mediterranean region and throughout the world. In 2019, more than 180 million tonnes of tomato have been produced worldwide, out of which around 42 million tonnes in Mediterranean countries. Due to its genetic properties, tomato is afflicted by numerous plant diseases induced by fungal, bacterial, phytoplasma, virus, and viroid pathogens. Not only is its genetic inheritance of great importance to the management of the numerous tomato pathogens, but equally as important are also the present climate changes, the recently revised phytopathological control measures, and the globalization of the seed industry. Thus, the recognition of symptoms and the knowledge of the distribution and spread of the disease and of the methods for early detection of the pathogens are the major prerequisites for a successful management of the disease. In this review, we will describe the main tomato pathogens in the Mediterranean area that impact mostly the tomato yield and provide the current and perspective measures necessary for their successful management. Full article
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