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Special Issue "Biocontrol of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Plant Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 February 2024 | Viewed by 465

Special Issue Editor

Department of Forest Resources, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Republic of Korea
Interests: plant diseases; insect pests; plant–microbial interactions; plant defense mechanisms; biological control; plant growth promotion
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant diseases and insect pests cause significant losses in crop production, directly by lowering yields and indirectly by increasing the costs of production and reducing the species diversity. The use of agricultural chemicals is an effective method of controlling plant diseases and insect pests. However, the continuous use of agricultural chemicals is associated with health and environmental risks, including spray drift hazards that adversely affect biodiversity and cause fungicide and pesticide resistance. Therefore, there is a growing demand for alternative crop production strategies that can reduce the use of agrochemicals. For instance, the use of microbial-based biocontrol products and natural enemies as an alternative to synthetic fungicides and pesticides has recently gained tremendous scientific attention. Microbial agents have the potential to control phytopathogenic fungal and bacterial infections, reduce crop damage from insect pests and plant parasitic (or free-living) nematodes, elicit induced systemic resistance, and enhance plant growth and productivity. Thus, it is eminent that future strategies of plant resource management incorporate the use of microbial agents and natural enemies to reduce the use of agricultural chemicals in crop protection. This will mitigate some of the emerging challenges such as environmental pollution; the development of pesticide/fungicide-resistant phytopathogens and pests, which are more difficult to control; and the potential toxicity of agricultural chemical residues in the food chain. These environmentally friendly biological agents have attracted significant attention as a sustainable solution for managing diseases and pests, and for improving crop growth and yield. Natural enemies and parasitoids are also vital in maintaining pest populations below the threshold in specific environments and should be protected from the indiscriminate effect of chemical insecticides.

This Special Issue, entitled “Biocontrol of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests”, will incorporate all aspects of biological control such as the use of microbial agents and their metabolites (antimicrobial peptides, microbial volatile compounds, and hydrolytic enzymes), natural enemies and parasitoids, and integrated disease and pest management studies, as well as reports on aspects of the elicitation of plant defense responses such as induced systemic resistance.

Prof. Dr. Young-sang Ahn
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • biocontrol of diseases and pests
  • plant protection with growth promotion
  • microbial agents and their metabolites
  • natural enemies
  • induced systemic resistance
  • biocontrol mechanisms

Published Papers (1 paper)

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25 pages, 3355 KiB  
The Prospect of Hydrolytic Enzymes from Bacillus Species in the Biological Control of Pests and Diseases in Forest and Fruit Tree Production
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(23), 16889; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242316889 - 29 Nov 2023
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Plant diseases and insect pest damage cause tremendous losses in forestry and fruit tree production. Even though chemical pesticides have been effective in the control of plant diseases and insect pests for several decades, they are increasingly becoming undesirable due to their toxic [...] Read more.
Plant diseases and insect pest damage cause tremendous losses in forestry and fruit tree production. Even though chemical pesticides have been effective in the control of plant diseases and insect pests for several decades, they are increasingly becoming undesirable due to their toxic residues that affect human life, animals, and the environment, as well as the growing challenge of pesticide resistance. In this study, we review the potential of hydrolytic enzymes from Bacillus species such as chitinases, β-1,3-glucanases, proteases, lipases, amylases, and cellulases in the biological control of phytopathogens and insect pests, which could be a more sustainable alternative to chemical pesticides. This study highlights the application potential of the hydrolytic enzymes from different Bacillus sp. as effective biocontrol alternatives against phytopathogens/insect pests through the degradation of cell wall/insect cuticles, which are mainly composed of structural polysaccharides like chitins, β-glucans, glycoproteins, and lipids. This study demonstrates the prospects for applying hydrolytic enzymes from Bacillus sp. as effective biopesticides in forest and fruit tree production, their mode of biocidal activity and dual antimicrobial/insecticidal potential, which indicates a great prospect for the simultaneous biocontrol of pests/diseases. Further research should focus on optimizing the production of hydrolytic enzymes, and the antimicrobial/insecticidal synergism of different Bacillus sp. which could facilitate the simultaneous biocontrol of pests and diseases in forest and fruit tree production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocontrol of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests)
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