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Functional Peptides for Plant Disease Control

Authors: Emilio Montesinos
Date Published: 02/06/2023
Via: annualreviews.org


Plant disease control requires novel approaches to mitigate the spread of and losses caused by current, emerging, and re-emerging diseases and to adapt plant protection to global climate change and the restrictions on the use of conventional pesticides. Currently, disease management relies mainly on biopesticides, which are required for the sustainable use of plant-protection products. Functional peptides are candidate biopesticides because they originate from living organisms or are synthetic analogs and provide novel mechanisms of action against plant pathogens. Hundreds of compounds exist that cover an extensive range of activities against viruses, bacteria and phytoplasmas, fungi and oomycetes, and nematodes. Natural sources, chemical synthesis, and biotechnological platforms may provide peptides at large scale for the industry and growers. The main challenges for their use in plant disease protection are (a) the requirement of stability in the plant environment and counteracting resistance in pathogen populations, (b) the need to develop suitable formulations to increase their shelf life and methods of application, (c) the selection of compounds with acceptable toxicological profiles, and (d) the high cost of production for agricultural purposes. In the near future, it is expected that several functional peptides will be commercially available for plant disease control, but more effort is needed to validate their efficacy at the field level and fulfill the requirements of the regulatory framework.

Direct and indirect effects of two endophytic entomopathogenic fungi on survival and feeding behaviour of meadow spittlebug Philaenus spumarius

Authors: Meelad Yousef-Yousef, Marina Morente, Natalia González-Mas, Alberto Fereres, Enrique Quesada-Moraga, Aranzazu Moreno

Date: 01/11/23

Highlights: Direct exposure of Philaenus to Metarhizium brunneum reduces its survivorship. M. brunneum successfully colonises the host plant and reduces survival of Philaenus. Philaenus reaches the xylem faster on M. brunneum-colonised plants. Xylem sap ingestion by...

Detection of Xylella fastidiosa in Host Plants and Insect Vectors by Droplet Digital PCR

Authors: Nicola Bodino, Vincenzo Cavalieri, Crescenza Dongiovanni, Maria Saponari, and Domenico Bosco

Date: 21/03/23

Spatial-temporal dynamics of spittlebug populations, together with transmission biology, are of major importance to outline the disease epidemiology of Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) subsp. pauca in Apulian olive groves. The spread rate of Xf is...

Parallel host shifts in a bacterial plant pathogen suggest independent genetic solutions

Authors: Monica A. Donegan, Helvécio D. Coletta-Filho, Rodrigo P. P. Almeida

Date: 29/03/23

While there are documented host shifts in many bacterial plant pathogens, the genetic foundation of host shifts is largely unknown. Xylella fastidiosa is a bacterial pathogen found in over 600 host plant species. Two parallel host shifts occurred—in Brazil...