Special Issue "Interactions between Microorganisms in Plant Diseases"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Crop Protection, Diseases, Pest and Weeds".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ofir Degani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Plant Science, MIGAL-Galilee Research Institute, Kiryat Shmona, Israel
2. Faculty of Sciences, Tel-Hai College, Upper Galilee, Tel-Hai 12210, Israel
Interests: endophytes; phytopathology; plant-pathogen interactions; crops biological; chemical protection

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants are threatened by a diversity of pathogen species living in complex communities, including various other non-pathogenic microorganisms. Two or more pathogens on the same host can result in significantly different disease outcomes than those for single infections. The natural microorganism communities inhabiting the plant phyllosphere (the above-ground portions of the plant’s habitat) or the rhizosphere (the roots’ surrounding habitat) also include non-pathogenic members that have protective effects against pathogens. These beneficial species can also confer the plant with better immunity against environmental stresses. The plant’s pathobiome comprises a collection of co-existing phytopathogens that affect each other and the host plant’s health. They are formed by pathogens inhabiting the same ecological niche and either cooperating or competing for the same plant resources. This Special Issue welcomes papers focusing on recent scientific progress and innovation in the intriguing relationships between microorganisms and their implications on the plant’s immunity to biotic and abiotic stresses. Our ability to understand and intervene in this fabric of relationships is essential to increase plant health and crop yields.

Dr. Ofir Degani
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 papers will be 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. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). 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.


  • abiotic stresses
  • biological control
  • crop protection
  • endophytes
  • plant health
  • plant microbiome
  • plant microflora
  • microbial interactions
  • microorganism communities

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Biodiversity of Culturable Endophytic Actinobacteria Isolated from High Yield Camellia oleifera and Their Plant Growth Promotion Potential
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1150; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11111150 - 16 Nov 2021
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Camellia oleifera Abel. is one of the world’s four famous woody oil trees and has drawn increasing attention because of its high commercial value. Endophytes are microorganisms inhabiting inside plant tissues, and their functions vary with the change of host status and environmental [...] Read more.
Camellia oleifera Abel. is one of the world’s four famous woody oil trees and has drawn increasing attention because of its high commercial value. Endophytes are microorganisms inhabiting inside plant tissues, and their functions vary with the change of host status and environmental parameters. To deepen our understanding of the interactions between C. oleifera and their endophytic actinobacteria, the present study investigated the four endophytic actinobacterial composition-residing high-yield C. oleifera trees. A total of 156 endophytic actinobacterial isolates were obtained distributed in 17 genera. Among them, Streptomyces was the dominant endophytic actinobacteria, followed by Nocardia, Amycolatopsis, Microbiospora, Micromonospora and other rare actinobacteria genera. Soil characteristics including soil pH and organic matter were found to play crucial roles in shaping the endophytic actinobacterial community composition. Furthermore, all isolates were studied to determine their plant growth-promotion traits, 86.54% could produce Indole 3-Acetic Acid, 16.03% showed nitrogen-fixing, 21.15% showed phosphorus solubilizing, and 35.26% produced siderophore. Under the glasshouse condition, some isolates exhibited growth promotion effects on C. oleifera seedlings with significant increase in spring shoot length and ground diameter. Altogether, this study demonstrated that C. oleifera plants harbored a high diversity and novelty of culturable endophytic actinobacteria, which represent important potential as natural biofertilizers for the high production of C. oleifera. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microorganisms in Plant Diseases)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Pathogenic interactions between Macrophomina phaseolina and Magnaporthiopsis maydis in mutually infected cotton sprouts

Authors: Ofir Degani, Paz Becher and Asaf Gordani

Abstract: The communities of natural microorganisms populating a plant may include diverse pathogens and friendly species that contribute to its development and could also play an essential role in protecting it from invading microorganisms. The soil fungus Macrophomina phaseolina, the charcoal rot disease (CRD) agent, poses a major threat to cotton fields in Israel and worldwide. In Israel, highly infected areas are also inhabited with the soil fungus Magnaporthiopsis maydis, known as the maize late wilt disease agent. This maize pathogen has an endophytic lifestyle in cotton plants that are considered to be its secondary host. Interactions between these two pathogens lead to mutual depression, resulting in a less severe outbreak of CRD. The current work aimed at deepening our understanding of the two pathogens’ intriguing relationships and their impact on cotton plants at their early growth stage. To this end, sprouts were inoculated with M. phaseolina and M. maydis, together or one after the other, before, during and after sowing. Infection of the soil 14 days before sowing (DBS) with each of the pathogens causes the strongest inhibition of the sprouts’ emergence and development. Compared to sole infection with M. phaseolina or M. maydis, co-infecting them together (14 DBS) increases the plants’ emergence by 29% and 46%, the plants’ weight by 33% and 43%, and the sprouts’ survival by 32% and 48%. Infecting the soil with M. maydis first and with M. phaseolina two weeks later resulted in similar growth promotion recovery. Real-time qPCR analysis of the pathogens’ DNA in the sprouts’ roots supported the above results. Adding M. maydis to the soil before or simultaneously with the M. phaseolina inoculation resulted in a drastic reduction in the DNA levels of both pathogens (to near-zero values). In contrast, infecting the soil with M. phaseolina before M. maydis resulted in CRD growth suppression and the sprouts’ death. Indeed, such treatment resulted in high M. phaseolina DNA levels in the sprouts’ roots. The results obtained in this work improve our understanding of the relationship between the CRD agent and M. maydis. Studying the effect of the cotton plant’s natural microflora is an essential step towards developing an environmentally friendly control interface that is based on strengthening the plants’ microbiome.

Keywords: Cephalosporium maydis; charcoal rot disease; cotton; crop protection; fungus; Harpophora maydis; late wilt; maize; microflora; real-time PCR

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