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Biocontrol strategies: an eco-smart tool for integrated pest & diseases management

Guest Editors:
Suresh Janardhan Gawande: (ICAR-Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research, Pune, India) 
Durgesh Kumar Jaiswal: (Graphic Era (Deemed to be University), India)
Ram Krishna: (ICAR-Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi, India)
Soumia P. S.: (ICAR-Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research, Pune, India)
Anukool Vaishnav: (University of Zurich, Switzerland)

The Editors of BMC Microbiology, together with BMC Plant Biology and BMC Biotechnology present research articles on biocontrol strategies. Biocontrol of plant-insect pests and diseases is considered one of the most important and current challenges our society faces for eco-sustainability. Furthermore, increasing insecticide resistance and Modern environmental health hazards (MEHHs) as public health issues due to pesticide exposure and residue are of great concern. Thus, research towards biological control for plant-insect pests and disease management is needed for the worldwide agro-food sector to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Meet the Guest Editors

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Suresh Janardhan Gawande, ICAR-Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research, Pune, India

Dr. Suresh Gawande is a Principal Scientist at ICAR-Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research, Pune, India. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India in the discipline of Plant Pathology. His areas of interest are genomics of biotic and abiotic stress, host-pathogen-vector interaction of tospoviruses, biological control, microbial metagenomics, plant-pathogen diagnostics, mechanism of genetic and induced host plant resistance. Currently, he is working on biotechnological approaches for biotic stress management.

Durgesh Kumar Jaiswal, Graphic Era (Deemed to be University), India

Dr Durgesh Kumar Jaiswal is an Assistant Professor at Graphic Era (Deemed to be University, Dehradun, India). He obtained his PhD in Biotechnology at Banaras Hindu University (Varanasi, India), and he was a D.S. Kothari post-doctoral fellow at Savitribai Phule Pune University (Pune, India). His research focuses on micro-biotechnology, soil-microbiology, and sustainable agriculture, primarily exploring and formulating the microbial consortium for phyto-stimulator of crops, biodegradation of pesticides, and integrated pest and disease management to provide solutions for agriculture sustainability. He is an editorial board member of BMC Microbiology and BMC Plant Biology.

Ram Krishna, ICAR-Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi, India

Dr. Ram Krishna obtained his doctorate from Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development, Banaras Hindu University and presently working as Post-doctoral fellow (Plant-Biotechnology) at ICAR-Indian Institute of Vegetable Research. His research is focused for sustainable agriculture by biotechnological interventions in vegetable crops especially biotic and abiotic stress management through genetic engineering, advance breeding, and microbial application based approaches. He has more than ten years of research experience in biotic and abiotic stress management in crops his major thrust area are transgenic development, gene regulation, plant pathogen interaction, microbial degradation of agrochemicals, novel microbe identification for sustainable agriculture.

Soumia P. S., ICAR-Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research, Pune, India

Soumia P.S. obtained her Ph. D. Degree in Entomology from the ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi and presently working as a Scientist at ICAR- Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research, Pune, India. Her research focuses on different aspects of Insect Pest Management (IPM) especially in Host plant resistance, Biological control, Insect Toxicology, Insect Molecular Biology, Storage entomology and Weather based forecast modeling.  

Anukool Vaishnav, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Dr Anukool Vaishnav is working as a Post-Doctoral Scientist (Swiss excellence fellow) at University of Zurich, Switzerland. He is also associated with Department of Biotechnology, GLA University, India as an Assistant Professor. He has operated SERB-National Postdoctoral Fellowship (NPDF) at the Department of Mycology and Plant Pathology, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. He has 10 years of research experience in the field of plant–microbe interaction. His research is mainly focused on microbial-mediated plant protection against biotic and abiotic stresses and characterization of signaling molecules and secondary metabolites (soluble and VOCs) in plant holobionts. As an active researcher, he has about 50 publications including research articles, review articles and book chapters for reputed journals and edited books. He is also editor of 8 books published with Springer, CRC Press and Elsevier. Recently, he has awarded one Indian patent and 9 patents are still under examination. He is an editorial member of the journal ‘Frontiers in Microbiology’ and ‘Current Genomics’. He has been awarded with Swiss Excellence Fellowship and several Young Scientist Awards from different agencies.

About the collection

The Editors of BMC Microbiology, together with BMC Plant Biology and BMC Biotechnology present research articles on biocontrol strategies. Biocontrol of plant-insect pests and diseases is considered one of the most important and current challenges our society faces for eco-sustainability. Furthermore, increasing insecticide resistance and Modern environmental health hazards (MEHHs) as public health issues due to pesticide exposure and residue are of great concern. Thus, research towards biological control for plant-insect pests and disease management is needed for the worldwide agro-food sector to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Utilization of a plant's defense mechanism is one of the most essential and multidisciplinary undertakings in plant biology that describes the chemical and ecological processes influencing the tri-trophic (plant-pathogen-herbivore) interactions. For example, induced systemic resistance (ISR; or systemic acquired resistance, SAR) could be exploited as an essential tool for insect pests and disease management to minimize pesticide load. By understanding induced resistance mechanisms, we can predict the biotic stress likely to be affected by induced responses. Rhizospheric microorganisms with biocontrol abilities have proved to be a viable alternative. Biological control using microorganisms to elicit ISR against plant diseases has been extensively studied under greenhouse and field conditions. Several studies have shown that the same strain of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) could elicit ISR against several pathogens in the same plant. Likewise, entomopathogenic microorganisms controlled the insect pests and showed antagonists behavior against plant pathogens, plant growth promoters, and efficient rhizosphere colonizers. Hence, these entomopathogenic microorganisms provide a viable option as biocontrol agents in the integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) strategies. Special attention will be given to the combination of design, such as a cocktail of rhizospheric and entomopathogenic microbes for synergistic effects against insect pests and pathogens. 

Under this scope, evaluating natural compounds' emerging pathogenesis or cytotoxic effects should also be a concern. Therefore, exploring the potent biocontrol agents and their combined impact against plant biotic stress is essential. Furthermore, generating knowledge on this eco-smart tool and identifying the feasible management strategies for crop protection in organic and sustainable agriculture is of utmost precedence.

This collection, entitled "Biocontrol strategies: An Eco-smart tool for integrated pest and diseases management," we comprises research papers or reviews dealing with these areas.

The collection broadly covers the following areas of research:

  • An overview of biocontrol: prospects and challenges.
  • Induced Systemic Resistance (ISR) against Insect pests and pathogens in the context of induced plant defenses
  • How do plants engage with beneficial microorganisms while at the same time restricting pathogens?
  • Role of various beneficial soil microbes and endophytes in plant defense mechanisms.
  • Emerging and potential biocontrol agents used in contemporary agriculture: a case study
  • Genetic improvement of biocontrol agents (natural enemies, parasitoids and microbes) for sustainable pest management
  • Human Risk assessment associated with the deployment of rhizospheric and entomopathogenic microorganisms for pests’ management

  1. Endophytes mediate the interactions between plants and other microorganisms, and the functional aspects of interactions between endophytes and their host that support plant-growth promotion and tolerance to st...

    Authors: Marzia Vergine, Federico Vita, Paola Casati, Alessandro Passera, Luigi Ricciardi, Stefano Pavan, Alessio Aprile, Erika Sabella, Luigi De Bellis and Andrea Luvisi
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2024 24:337
  2. Due to being rooted in the ground, maize (Zea mays L.) is unable to actively escape the attacks of herbivorous insects such as the Asian corn borer (Ostrinia furnacalis). In contrast to the passive damage, plants...

    Authors: Yuanlong Chen, Siyuan Yang, Wei Zeng, Xu Zheng, Pan Wang, Haiyan Fu and Fengshan Yang
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2024 24:152
  3. The utilization of Trichoderma longibrachiatum filtrate as a safe biocontrol method for producing zinc nanoparticles is a promising approach for managing pests and diseases in agricultural crops. The identificati...

    Authors: Rehab Y. Ghareeb, Elsayed B. Belal, Nagwa M. M. El-Khateeb and Basma A. Shreef
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2024 24:110
  4. Crown gall disease caused by Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a very destructive affliction that affects grapevines. Endophytic bacteria have been discovered to control plant diseases via the use of several mechanism...

    Authors: Faegheh Etminani, Behrouz Harighi, Bahman Bahramnejad and Ali Akbar Mozafari
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2024 24:104
  5. The growth and ornamental value of chrysanthemums are frequently hindered by aphid attacks. The ethylene-responsive factor (ERF) gene family is pivotal in responding to biotic stress, including insect stress. ...

    Authors: You Wang, Wanwan Zhang, Chaojun Hong, Lisheng Zhai, Xinhui Wang, Lijie Zhou, Aiping Song, Jiafu Jiang, Likai Wang, Fadi Chen and Sumei Chen
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2024 24:76
  6. Biopesticides offer a sustainable and efficient alternative to synthetic pesticides, providing a safer and more eco-friendly solution to pest management. The present work proposes an innovative approach that i...

    Authors: Satya Sundar Mohanty and Kaustubha Mohanty
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:644
  7. Arbuscular mycorrhizal and Trichoderma fungi alter the synthesis of secondary metabolites of plants and confer tolerance from pathogens attacks. However, there is less supportive evidence from on-field studies...

    Authors: Martin Jemo, Severin Nkenmegne, Alfred Balenor Buernor, Anas Raklami, Zachee Ambang, Adamou Souleyamanou, Yedir Ouhdouch and Mohamed Hafidi
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:582
  8. Plant fungal pathogens cause substantial economic losses through crop yield reduction and post-harvest storage losses. The utilization of biocontrol agents presents a sustainable strategy to manage plant disea...

    Authors: Bassma Mahmoud Elkhairy, Nabil Mohamed Salama, Abdalrahman Mohammad Desouki, Ashraf Bakry Abdelrazek, Khaled Abdelaziz Soliman, Samir Abdelaziz Ibrahim and Hala Badr Khalil
    Citation: BMC Microbiology 2023 23:356

    The Correction to this article has been published in BMC Microbiology 2023 23:400

  9. In this study, we investigated the intricate interplay between Trichoderma and the tomato genome, focusing on the transcriptional and metabolic changes triggered during the late colonization event. Microarray pro...

    Authors: Mohd Aamir, V. Shanmugam, Manish Kumar Dubey, Fohad Mabood Husain, Mohd Adil, Waquar Akhter Ansari, Ashutosh Rai and Pankaj Sah
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:552
  10. Secretome analysis is a valuable tool to study host-pathogen protein interactions and to identify new proteins that are important for plant health. Microbial signatures elicit defense responses in plants, and ...

    Authors: Tamilarasi Mani, J. Beslin Joshi, R. Priyadharshini, Jeya Sundara Sharmila and Sivakumar Uthandi
    Citation: BMC Microbiology 2023 23:284
  11. Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) is a natural product with high volatility that is used as a biofumigant to alleviate soil-borne plant diseases, and problems such as root knot nematodes (RKNs) that necessitate cont...

    Authors: Yingbin Li, Daqing Lu, Yan Xia, Xinjing Xu, Huichuan Huang, Xinyue Mei, Min Yang, Jianqiang Li, Shusheng Zhu, Yixiang Liu and Zhiping Zhang
    Citation: BMC Microbiology 2023 23:278
  12. Toxigenic fungi (Aspergillus and Fusarium) and their metabolites represent the major cause of corn and corn-based products contamination and consequently lead to severe economic and health issues.

    Authors: Ahmed Lotfy E. Mahmoud, Ayat H. A. Mohamed Kilany and Elhagag A. Hassan
    Citation: BMC Microbiology 2023 23:269
  13. Early leaf spot disease, caused by Cercospora arachidicola, is a devastating peanut disease that has severely impacted peanut production and quality. Chemical fungicides pollute the environment; however, Bacillus

    Authors: Chen Wang, Taswar Ahsan, Ao Ding, Di Han, Chao-Qun Zang, Yu-Qian Huang and Khalid Hussain
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:410
  14. Meloidogyne incognita greatly restricts the production of protected vegetables in China. Application of biocontrol agent Purpureocillium lilacinum is an important practice to control the nematode; however, instab...

    Authors: Haizhen Nie, Binna Lv, Manhong Sun, Zengming Zhong and Shidong Li
    Citation: BMC Microbiology 2023 23:244
  15. The spreading of root rot disease of faba bean plant (Vichia faba L, VF) in Egypt is still of great challenge faced researchers since VF is an important legume in Egypt, because their seeds are used for human fee...

    Authors: Nashwa El-Gazzar, Kamar. M. Abd El-Hai, Safaa. A. M. Teama and Gamal. H. Rabie
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:403
  16. Stripe rust is considered one of the most devastating diseases of wheat all over the world, resulting in a high loss in its production. In this study, time-course changes in expression of the polyphenol biosyn...

    Authors: Younes M. Rashad, Hany H. El-Sharkawy, Sara A. Abdalla, Omar M. Ibrahim and Nahla T. Elazab
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:388
  17. Volatilomes from natural plants and microbes imparts diverse antifungal properties to suppress the growth of plant pathogens and therefore can be a suitable alternative of chemical fungicides. The present expe...

    Authors: Praveen Thangaraj, Krishnamoorthy Akkanna Subbiah, Nakkeeran Sevugapperumal, Sivakumar Uthandi, Amirtham Damodarasamy and Haripriya Shanmugam
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:384
  18. Microorganisms that activate plant immune responses are useful for application as biocontrol agents in agriculture to minimize crop losses. The present study was conducted to identify and characterize plant im...

    Authors: Hiroki Kaneko, Fuma Miyata, Mari Kurokawa, Kenji Hashimoto, Kazuyuki Kuchitsu and Toshiki Furuya
    Citation: BMC Microbiology 2023 23:175
  19. To explore the community composition and diversity of the endophytic fungi in Taxillus chinensis, samples of the parasites growing on seven different hosts, Morus alba, Prunus salicina, Phellodendron chinense, Ba...

    Authors: Li-sha Song, Juan Huo, Lingyun Wan, Limei Pan, Ni Jiang, Jine Fu, Shugen Wei and Lili He
    Citation: BMC Microbiology 2023 23:128
  20. In our continuing search for biologically active natural enemies from North of Africa with special reference to Tunisian fungi, our teamwork screened fungi from different ecological habitats in Tunisia. Our pr...

    Authors: Lobna Hajji-Hedfi, Wassila Hlaoua, Abdelhak Rhouma, Awatif A. Al-Judaibi, Susana Cobacho Arcos, Lee Robertson, Sergio Ciordia, Najet Horrigue-Raouani, Alfonso Navas and Ahmed M. Abdel-Azeem
    Citation: BMC Microbiology 2023 23:108
  21. Trichoderma asperellum and Tharzianum were assessed in this study as a potential biological control against Colletotrichum truncatum. C. truncatum is a hemibiotrophic fungus that causes anthracnose disease in c...

    Authors: Mukesh Yadav, Kumari Divyanshu, Manish Kumar Dubey, Ashutosh Rai, Sunil Kumar, Yashoda Nandan Tripathi, Vaishali Shukla and Ram Sanmukh Upadhyay
    Citation: BMC Microbiology 2023 23:54
  22. Verticillium wilt, caused by the fungus Verticillium dahliae, leads to significant losses in cotton yield worldwide. Biocontrol management is a promising means of suppressing verticillium wilt. The purpose of the...

    Authors: Lin Zhang, Yu Wang, Shengwei Lei, Hongxin Zhang, Ziyang Liu, Jianwei Yang and Qiuhong Niu
    Citation: BMC Microbiology 2023 23:8
  23. For the burgeoning global population, sustainable agriculture practices are crucial for accomplishing the zero-hunger goal. The agriculture sector is very concerned about the rise in insecticide resistance and...

    Authors: Durgesh Kumar Jaiswal, Suresh Janardhan Gawande, P. S. Soumia, Ram Krishna, Anukool Vaishnav and Avinash Bapurao Ade
    Citation: BMC Microbiology 2022 22:324
  24. Apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) is an important economic crop. The pathological effects of Fusarium solani, a species complex of soilborne pathogens, on the root systems of apple plants was unknown. It was unclear...

    Authors: Mei Wang, Weixiao Tang, Li Xiang, Xuesen Chen, Xiang Shen, Chengmiao Yin and Zhiquan Mao
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2022 22:385