Plant Pathogens: Monitoring, Identification and Biological Control

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Microbe Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2024 | Viewed by 3247

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture and Nutrition, Institute of Agriculture and Tourism, 52440 Poreč, Croatia
Interests: olive protection; biological control; plant pathology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Laboratorio di Patologia Vegetale Molecolare, Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agrarie, Alimentari Ambientali e Forestali, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Via della Lastruccia 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Firenze, Italy
Interests: molecular plant pathology; phytopathogenic bacteria; quarantine phytopathogens; molecular epidemiology; molecular diagnostics; innovative sustainable control; auxin; MATE transporters; Pseudomonas savastanoi; Curtobacterium flaccumfacien
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Laboratory for Molecular Microbiology, Division of Molecular Biology, Ruđer Bošković Institute, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: microbiology; microbial genetics; plant protection
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The causal agents of plant diseases are very often different phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria. Since there is usually not enough data on the susceptibility of different plant cultivars to microbial pathogenic agents, the identification of cultivars tolerant/resistant to phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria is crucial.

As of now, an adequate and satisfactory curative for different plant diseases of cultivated plants has not been found, and there is a need to find alternative effective compounds for plant protection and control. A possible solution to this phytopathological problem is reflected through research on plants’ bioactive substances, which is not particularly prevalent, although according to the literature there is a great number of plants that could be potential sources of these compounds. These active substances represent a potential solution to contemporary problems in phytomedicine, since the number of registered pesticides is rapidly decreasing.

It is expected that plant bioactive substances have insufficiently known and used antimicrobial efficiency. The application of these substances could also reduce the use of toxic synthetic pesticides and solve the problem of pesticide resistance in the future, but they are also the answer to people’s health, which is being increasingly endangered. Interest in these compounds is expected to grow even more, and in order to evaluate the potential doses and methods of application, further and successive studies are needed.   

This Microorganisms Special Issue, "Plant Pathogens: Monitoring, Identification and Biological Control", will present the latest research on the identification and characterization of different phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria of cultivated and wild plants. Papers on the antimicrobial effects of complex bioactive plant ingredients on different plant pathogens will also be welcome.

Some of the focal points include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Microbial pathogenic agents of different plant diseases.
  2. The antimicrobial effects of complex antimicrobial ingredients on phytopathogenic organisms (e. g. essential oils and their components).
  3. The use of plant-based biopesticides and bioactive compounds.
  4. Plant disease management.
  5. Plant-based biopesticides.
  6. Fungi and bacteria as causal agents of plant disease.

Dr. Sara Godena
Prof. Dr. Stefania Tegli
Dr. Damir Dermic
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 2571 KiB  
Article
Improved Canker Processing and Viability Droplet Digital PCR Allow Detection of Erwinia amylovora Viable Nonculturable Cells in Apple Bark
by Bidhan Chandra Dhar, Ricardo Delgado Santander and Srđan G. Aćimović
Microorganisms 2024, 12(2), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms12020376 - 12 Feb 2024
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Abstract
The bacterium Erwinia amylovora causes fire blight and continues to threaten global commercial apple and pear production. Conventional microbiology techniques cannot accurately determine the presence of live pathogen cells in fire blight cankers. Several factors may prevent E. amylovora from growing on solid [...] Read more.
The bacterium Erwinia amylovora causes fire blight and continues to threaten global commercial apple and pear production. Conventional microbiology techniques cannot accurately determine the presence of live pathogen cells in fire blight cankers. Several factors may prevent E. amylovora from growing on solid culture media, including competing microbiota and the release of bacterial-growth-inhibitory compounds by plant material during sample processing. We previously developed a canker processing methodology and a chip-based viability digital PCR (v-dPCR) assay using propidium monoazide (PMA) to bypass these obstacles. However, sample analysis was still time-consuming and physically demanding. In this work, we improved the previous protocol using an automatic tissue homogenizer and transferred the chip-based v-dPCR to the BioRad QX200 droplet dPCR (ddPCR) platform. The improved sample processing method allowed the simultaneous, fast, and effortless processing of up to six samples. Moreover, the transferred v-ddPCR protocol was compatible with the same PMA treatment and showed a similar dynamic range, from 7.2 × 102 to 7.6 × 107 cells mL−1, as the previous v-dPCR. Finally, the improved protocol allowed, for the first time, the detection of E. amylovora viable but nonculturable (VBNC) cells in cankers and bark tissues surrounding cankers. Our v-ddPCR assay will enable new ways to evaluate resistant pome fruit tree germplasm, further dissect the E. amylovora life cycle, and elucidate E. amylovora physiology, epidemiology, and new options for canker management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Pathogens: Monitoring, Identification and Biological Control)
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34 pages, 24096 KiB  
Article
Wide Distribution of Teratosphaeria epicoccoides and T. destructans Associated with Diseased Eucalyptus Leaves in Plantations in Southern China
by Bingyin Chen, Wenxia Wu and Shuaifei Chen
Microorganisms 2024, 12(1), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms12010129 - 09 Jan 2024
Viewed by 841
Abstract
Species of Mycosphaerellaceae and Teratosphaeriaceae represent over 40% of the fungi identified on eucalypt leaves worldwide. These include some important pathogens that mainly cause leaf blight and spot, and result in increasingly negative impacts on global commercial eucalypt industries. Eucalyptus plantations are commonly [...] Read more.
Species of Mycosphaerellaceae and Teratosphaeriaceae represent over 40% of the fungi identified on eucalypt leaves worldwide. These include some important pathogens that mainly cause leaf blight and spot, and result in increasingly negative impacts on global commercial eucalypt industries. Eucalyptus plantations are commonly cultivated in southern China for solid wood and pulp products. However, the species diversity and geographic distribution of Mycosphaerellaceae and Teratosphaeriaceae, associated with diseased plantation Eucalyptus leaves in China, have not been clarified. In this study, we conducted the first systematic surveys and sample collections of Mycosphaerellaceae- and Teratosphaeriaceae-like fungi from diseased plantation Eucalyptus leaves in southern China. In total, 558 isolates were obtained from 59 sampled sites in five provinces. One isolate was isolated from each tree. According to the disease symptoms, conidia morphological characteristics, and DNA sequence comparisons of ITS, tef1 and tub2 gene regions. The 558 isolates were identified as Teratosphaeria epicoccoides (312 isolates; 55.9%) and T. destructans (246 isolates, 44.1%). Both species were widely distributed in the sampled regions in southern China. The genotypes of T. epicoccoides and T. destructans were determined based on ITS, tef1, and tub2 sequences. The results showed that multiple genotypes of each species of T. epicoccoides and T. destructans exist in China. Additionally, isolates with multiple genotypes were obtained in all five sampled provinces. These results suggest that both T. epicoccoides and T. destructans are not clonal. This study proved that both T. epicoccoides and T. destructans are dominant species and widely distributed on diseased Eucalyptus leaves in southern China. The wide geographic distribution and potential high genetic diversity pose challenges for the disease management of Teratosphaeria leaf blight and leaf spot in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Pathogens: Monitoring, Identification and Biological Control)
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18 pages, 4089 KiB  
Article
The Antibacterial Effect of Selected Essential Oils and Their Bioactive Constituents on Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. savastanoi: Phytotoxic Properties and Potential for Future Olive Disease Control
by Laura Košćak, Janja Lamovšek, Edyta Đermić and Sara Godena
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2735; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112735 - 09 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 975
Abstract
Plant pathogenic bacteria pose a significant threat to olive cultivation, leading to substantial economic losses and reduced yield. The efficacy of antimicrobial agents against these pathogens is of great interest for sustainable disease management strategies. As such, the management of olive knot disease [...] Read more.
Plant pathogenic bacteria pose a significant threat to olive cultivation, leading to substantial economic losses and reduced yield. The efficacy of antimicrobial agents against these pathogens is of great interest for sustainable disease management strategies. As such, the management of olive knot disease is one of the major challenges in olive protection. In the presented study, through a series of in vitro assays, we investigated the antimicrobial effect of six essential oils (EOs) and their most concentrated constituents against causative agent of olive knot disease—Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. savastanoi, highlighting the high potential of Origanum compactum EO and its constituent carvacrol. Carvacrol exhibited the highest potential for practical application, demonstrating membrane disruption as its mechanism of action even at the lowest concentration. The bactericidal effect of antimicrobials was confirmed in a time–kill assay, where concentrations of MIC, 2× MIC, and 4× MIC were evaluated. Some of the applied treatments resulted in inhibition equal or higher than copper-based treatment. Additionally, we assessed the phytotoxicity of carvacrol by foliar application on olive cv. Leccino. The appearance of phytotoxic injuries majorly occurred on the young leaves of olive plants, with the highest proportion of damaged canopy observed when the 2× MIC concentration was applied. Due to its great efficiency against P. savastanoi pv. savastanoi in vitro, these findings highlight the potential of carvacrol as a molecule of interest for the development of environmentally friendly biopesticides. This study also contributes to the advancement of disease management practices in olive cultivation, leading to enhanced crop protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Pathogens: Monitoring, Identification and Biological Control)
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