Special Issue "Fungal-Insect Interactions"

A special issue of Journal of Fungi (ISSN 2309-608X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Luis V. Lopez-Llorca
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Multidisciplinary Institute for Environmental Studies/Department of Marine Sciences and Applied Biology, University of Alicante, Apdo. 99, E-03080 Alicante, Spain
Interests: biocontrol; nematophagous fungi; entomopathogenic fungi; chitosan; plant pathology; endophytes; fungal "omics"
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Federico Lopez-Moya
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Multidisciplinary Institute for Environmental Studies/Department of Marine Sciences and Applied Biology, University of Alicante, Apdo. 99, E-03080 Alicante, Spain
Interests: biocontrol; nematophagous fungi; entomopathogenic fungi; chitosan; plant pathology; endophytes; fungal "omics"
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Interactions between fungi and insects are universal in nature. While fungal–insect symbiosis, which can benefit both fungus and insects greatly, there are approximately 1000 fungi from different phyla that are known to infect and kill insects. Fungal pathogens can modify insect behavior to their benefit. In turn, insects can modify their behavior to prevent or minimize fungal infections. These aspects of fungal pathogen evolution and host adaptation, and the underlying molecular mechanisms of pathogenicity (receptors, adhesives, enzymes, secondary metabolites, effectors) and immunity (melanisation) have advanced due to comparative functional genomics studies on fungi and insects. Fungal pathogens of insects are used for sustainable management of pests in agriculture, but can also control insect vectors of animal and human pathogens. Therefore, the advancement of our knowledge of infection and defense in fungus–insect interactions will help us to advance the development of this system for efficient biocontrol and cell factory source of useful bioactive compounds.

The Special Issue will cover all aspects of fungal–insect interactions. Topics include, but are not limited to, biology, physiology, genetics and -omics of entomopathogenic fungi, fungal–insect symbiosis, fungal infection and pathogenesis in insects, insect immunity to fungal infection, as well as insect biocontrol with fungi. Authors can submit basic (laboratory), as well as applied (field), studies. Both reviews and original research articles discussing recent progresses and advances in the field are welcome.

Sincerely,

Prof. Dr. Luis V. Lopez-Llorca
Dr. Federico Lopez-Moya
Guest Editors

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. Journal of Fungi 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 1800 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.

Keywords

  • fungal–insect interactions
  • fungal pathogenesis
  • insects immunity to fungal infections
  • entomopathogenic fungi
  • fungal biocontrol

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
An Ecological Assessment of Isaria fumosorosea Applications Compared to a Neonicotinoid Treatment for Regulating Invasive Ficus Whitefly
J. Fungi 2019, 5(2), 36; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof5020036 - 04 May 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1452
Abstract
A pilot study was conducted on a weeping fig, Ficus benjamina shrub hedge in a Florida urban landscape to determine the efficacy of a fungal biopesticide, PFR-97™ which contains blastospores of Isaria fumosorosea, and a neonicotinoid treatment (Admire Pro™) applied against the [...] Read more.
A pilot study was conducted on a weeping fig, Ficus benjamina shrub hedge in a Florida urban landscape to determine the efficacy of a fungal biopesticide, PFR-97™ which contains blastospores of Isaria fumosorosea, and a neonicotinoid treatment (Admire Pro™) applied against the invasive ficus whitefly pest, Singhiella simplex (Singh). Post treatment, an ecological assessment of the study was conducted by observing the impact of the fungal biopesticide and neonicotinoid treatment on natural enemies, e.g., predators, parasitoids and enzootic fungal pathogens occurring in the whitefly-infested hedge. Both treatments provided a significant reduction in the whitefly population compared to control and were compatible with the natural enemies present. Various natural enemies including fungal entomopathogens were identified associated with the whitefly population infesting the weeping fig hedge. The parasitoids, Encarsia protransvena Viggiani and Amitus bennetti Viggiani & Evans combined parasitized a similar mean number of whitefly nymphs in both treatments and control; however, the number parasitized decreased over time. Natural enzootic fungi isolated from the ficus whitefly nymphs were I. fumosorosea, Purpureocillium lilacinum and Lecanicillium, Aspergillus and Fusarium species. Results from this pilot study suggest there is much potential for using repeated applications of the fungal biopesticide, PFR-97™ as a foliar spray compared to a neonicitionid as a soil drench for managing S. simplex on Ficus species for ≥28 days. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal-Insect Interactions)
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Article
High-Throughput Sequencing to Investigate Phytopathogenic Fungal Propagules Caught in Baited Insect Traps
J. Fungi 2019, 5(1), 15; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof5010015 - 12 Feb 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2133
Abstract
Studying the means of dispersal of plant pathogens is crucial to better understand the dynamic interactions involved in plant infections. On one hand, entomologists rely mostly on both traditional molecular methods and morphological characteristics, to identify pests. On the other hand, high-throughput sequencing [...] Read more.
Studying the means of dispersal of plant pathogens is crucial to better understand the dynamic interactions involved in plant infections. On one hand, entomologists rely mostly on both traditional molecular methods and morphological characteristics, to identify pests. On the other hand, high-throughput sequencing (HTS) is becoming the go-to avenue for scientists studying phytopathogens. These organisms sometimes infect plants, together with insects. Considering the growing number of exotic insect introductions in Canada, forest pest-management efforts would benefit from the development of a high-throughput strategy to investigate the phytopathogenic fungal and oomycete species interacting with wood-boring insects. We recycled formerly discarded preservative fluids from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency annual survey using insect traps and analysed more than one hundred samples originating from across Canada. Using the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM) HTS technology and fusion primers, we performed metabarcoding to screen unwanted fungi and oomycetes species, including Phytophthora spp. Community profiling was conducted on the four different wood-boring, insect-attracting semiochemicals; although the preservative (contained ethanol) also attracted other insects. Phytopathogenic fungi (e.g., Leptographium spp. and Meria laricis in the pine sawyer semiochemical) and oomycetes (mainly Peronospora spp. and Pythium aff. hypogynum in the General Longhorn semiochemical), solely associated with one of the four types of semiochemicals, were detected. This project demonstrated that the insect traps’ semiochemical microbiome represents a new and powerful matrix for screening phytopathogens. Compared to traditional diagnostic techniques, the fluids allowed for a faster and higher throughput assessment of the biodiversity contained within. Additionally, minimal modifications to this approach would allow it to be used in other phytopathology fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal-Insect Interactions)
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Review

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Review
Is the Insect Cuticle the only Entry Gate for Fungal Infection? Insights into Alternative Modes of Action of Entomopathogenic Fungi
J. Fungi 2019, 5(2), 33; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof5020033 - 16 Apr 2019
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3114
Abstract
Entomopathogenic fungi are the only insect pathogens able to infect their host by adhesion to the surface and penetration through the cuticle. Although the possibility of fungal infection per os was described almost a century ago, there is an information gap of several [...] Read more.
Entomopathogenic fungi are the only insect pathogens able to infect their host by adhesion to the surface and penetration through the cuticle. Although the possibility of fungal infection per os was described almost a century ago, there is an information gap of several decades regarding this topic, which was poorly explored due to the continuous elucidation of cuticular infection processes that lead to insect death by mycosis. Recently, with the advent of next-generation sequencing technologies, the genomes of the main entomopathogenic fungi became available, and many fungal genes potentially useful for oral infection were described. Among the entomopathogenic Hypocreales that have been sequenced, Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo-Crivelli) Vuillemin (Cordycipitaceae) is the main candidate to explore this pathway since it has a major number of shared genes with other non-fungal pathogens that infect orally, such as Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bacillales: Bacillaceae). This finding gives B. bassiana a potential advantage over other entomopathogenic fungi: the possibility to infect through both routes, oral and cuticular. In this review, we explore all known entry gates for entomopathogenic fungi, with emphasis on the infection per os. We also set out the fungal infection process in a more integral approach, as a need to exploit its full potential for insect control, considering all of its virulence factors and the conditions needed to improve its virulence against insect that might offer some resistance to the common infection through the cuticle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal-Insect Interactions)
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