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Plant disease resistance

Guest Editors:
Baffour Badu-Apraku: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria
Fei Shen: Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, China

Moving towards sustainable societies has led to the research community seeking innovative ways to grow and maintain the environment around us, paving the way for a secure future. Within the plant sciences, this has accelerated research on understanding plant disease resistance to ensure sustainable plant and crop breeding towards both conservation and food security. In recognition of this fast-paced area of research, the Editors of BMC Plant Biology published this collection on Plant disease resistance comprising research supporting the UN's SDGs on Zero hunger, Climate action, sustainable cities and communities, and protecting Life on land. 

Meet the Guest Editors

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Baffour Badu-Apraku: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria

Baffour Badu-Apraku is a Principal Scientist, Maize Breeder, and Quantitative Geneticist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria. His focus includes breeding, testing, and the promotion of technology transfer, especially with regard to the adoption of open-pollinated and hybrid varieties of normal endosperm, Quality Protein (QPM), Pro-vitamin A Maize, and sustainable agronomic practices. Many early and extra-early diseases, Striga, drought, low soil nitrogen-tolerant varieties and hybrids have been developed in his program, formally released, and widely adopted. 

Fei Shen: Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, China

Fei Shen is currently a tenured assistant professor at the Institute of Biotechnology, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences (BAAFS) in China. His primary experience is with plant genomes and genome evolution and has been part of whole genome projects of apple, jasmine, and plum. He also works to develop analytical tools that address complex genetic processes. His group’s current interests include comparative and evolutionary genomics to address the mechanistic basis underlying structural and functional genomic changes in flowering plants, with an emphasis on duplication-driven and transposon-mediated gene and genome evolution and genetic dissection of complex traits.


About the collection

In their environment, plants are susceptible to diseases caused by microorganisms and pests. This also presents a major threat to food security and has a tremendous environmental impact. This often has serious economic losses to crops each year and can also wipe out entire species of plants, forcing conservation efforts and breeding practices that promote resistance to these diseases. To survive this, they develop a mechanism to fight the diseases either through innate or acquired resistance involving their immune system. Additionally, cutting-edge technologies allow us to investigate the biological process in a higher dimension, including high-throughput sequencing, Single-cell technologies, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, and deep learning. 

In this collection, BMC Plant Biology presents research that taps into the understanding of disease resistance in plants and builds towards building this resistance towards sustainable breeding and crop production. Valuable insights, strategies, datasets, and reviews are offered. 

The collection comprises research on the following broad areas of research:

  • Elucidating plant-pathogen interactions through genomics, proteomics, high-throughput sequencing for resistance, virulence genes in crops, and pathogens.
  • Evolution and mechanisms of plant disease resistance
    • Evolution and regulation of R genes, their mode of action, and how R genes initiate immune signaling.
  • Crop protection
    • Use of chemicals and other crop management practices.
  • Disease resistance and conservation
  • Disease resistance and sustainability 
  • Genetic modification of crops to improve disease resistance
    • Genetic-engineered disease resistance in crops
    • CRISPR-Cas gene editing in crops
    • Genetic modifications via RNA interference (RNAi)
    • Resistance gene enrichment sequencing (RenSeq)
  • Breeding for disease resistance
    • Conventional and molecular approaches to breeding for resistance in crops 
  • Cell and molecular biology of disease resistance
  • Plant immune systems and immune mechanisms
    • Innate and acquired immune systems
    • Morphological features, molecular architectures, and mechanisms governing hypersensitive response (HR) cell death in crops.
    • Immune surveillance systems in crops
  • Plant resistance signaling
    • Immune-pathways, structure, function and role in various signaling genes and recognition patterns for resistance in crops
  • Expression and regulatory mechanisms
  • Resistance genes and elicitors of plant immunity
  • Technological and methodological advances in plant disease resistance research

Image credit: Yue Jin

  1. Several WRKY transcription factors (TFs), including CaWRKY6, CaWRKY22, CaWRKY27, and CaWRKY40 are known to govern the resistance of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) plants to Ralstonia solanacearum infestation (RSI) a...

    Authors: Ansar Hussain, Abdul Qayyum, Shahid Farooq, Saeedah Musaed Almutairi, Rabab Ahmed Rasheed, Masood Qadir, Tomáš Vyhnánek and Yunhao Sun
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2024 24:522
  2. Cotton is globally important crop. Verticillium wilt (VW), caused by Verticillium dahliae, is the most destructive disease in cotton, reducing yield and fiber quality by over 50% of cotton acreage. Breeding resis...

    Authors: Xi-Yue Ma, Xiao-Han Zhou, Bin-Bin Liu, Ye-Jing Zhang, He Zhu, Yue Li, Zi-Sheng Wang, Xiao-Feng Dai, Jie-Yin Chen, Zhen-Qi Su and Ran Li
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2024 24:457
  3. Phytophthora root rot, a major constraint in chile pepper production worldwide, is caused by the soil-borne oomycete, Phytophthora capsici. This study aimed to detect significant regions in the Capsicum genome li...

    Authors: Navdeep Kaur, Dennis N. Lozada, Madhav Bhatta, Derek W. Barchenger, Ehtisham S. Khokhar, Seyed Shahabeddin Nourbakhsh and Soum Sanogo
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2024 24:416
  4. Luffa (Luffa spp.) is an economically important crop of the Cucurbitaceae family, commonly known as sponge gourd or vegetable gourd. It is an annual cross-pollinated crop primarily found in the subtropical and tr...

    Authors: Yun-Da Li, Yu-Chi Liu, Yu-Xuan Jiang, Ahmed Namisy, Wen-Hsin Chung, Ying-Hsuan Sun and Shu-Yun Chen
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2024 24:307
  5. Bacterial wilt caused by Ralstonia solanacearum severely affects peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) yields. The breeding of resistant cultivars is an efficient means of controlling plant diseases. Therefore, identifica...

    Authors: Xiao Wang, Feiyan Qi, Ziqi Sun, Hongfei Liu, Yue Wu, Xiaohui Wu, Jing Xu, Hua Liu, Li Qin, Zhenyu Wang, Suling Sang, Wenzhao Dong, Bingyan Huang, Zheng Zheng and Xinyou Zhang
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2024 24:207
  6. Fusarium head blight (FHB) infection results in Fusarium damaged kernels (FDK) and deoxynivalenol (DON) contamination that are downgrading factors at the Canadian elevators. Durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var....

    Authors: Samia Berraies, Yuefeng Ruan, Ron Knox, Ron DePauw, Firdissa Bokore, Richard Cuthbert, Barbara Blackwell, Maria Antonia Henriquez, David Konkin, Bianyun Yu, Curtis Pozniak and Brad Meyer
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2024 24:183
  7. In the natural environment, plants face constant exposure to biotic stress caused by fungal attacks. The plant’s response to various biotic stresses relies heavily on its ability to rapidly adjust the transcri...

    Authors: Justyna Mierziak and Wioleta Wojtasik
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2024 24:175
  8. Soybean is one of the most cultivated crops globally and a staple food for much of the world's population. The annual global crop losses due to infection by Phytophthora sojae is currently estimated at $20B USD, ...

    Authors: Oludoyin Adeseun Adigun, Thu Huong Pham, Dmitry Grapov, Muhammad Nadeem, Linda Elizabeth Jewell, Lakshman Galagedara, Mumtaz Cheema and Raymond Thomas
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2024 24:154
  9. Spot blotch is a serious foliar disease of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) plants caused by Bipolaris sorokiniana, which is a hemibiotrophic ascomycete that has a global impact on productivity. Some Trichoderma spp. ...

    Authors: Rabab A. Metwally, Shereen A. Soliman, Hanan Abdalla and Reda E. Abdelhameed
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2024 24:118
  10. Fusarium crown rot (FCR) is one of the most significant diseases limiting crop production in the Huanghuai wheat-growing region of China. Prothioconazole, a triazole sterol 14α-demethylation inhibitor (DMI) fu...

    Authors: Feng Zhou, Yan Jiao, Aohui Han, Xiaoli Zhou, Jiamei Kong, Haiyan Hu, Runqiang Liu and Chengwei Li
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2024 24:29
  11. Sesame charcoal rot caused by Macrophomina phaseolina is one of the most serious fungal diseases in sesame production, and threatens the yield and quality of sesame. WAKL genes are important in the plant response...

    Authors: Wenqing Yan, Peilin Hu, Yunxia Ni, Hui Zhao, Xintao Liu, Hengchun Cao, Min Jia, Baoming Tian, Hongmei Miao and Hongyan Liu
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:624
  12. Citrus melanose, caused by Diaporthe citri, is one of the most important and widespread fungal diseases of citrus. Previous studies demonstrated that the citrus host was able to trigger the defense response to re...

    Authors: Pudong Li, Xiaoe Xiao, Jingrui Wang, Fan Niu, Jiangnan Huang, Bianyue Xie, Lu Ye, Chaofan Zhang, Dengliang Wang, Qun Wu, Xueliang Zheng, Yunpeng Gai, Hongye Li and Chen Jiao
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:614

    The Correction to this article has been published in BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:666

  13. Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is one of the legume crops most consumed worldwide and bean rust is one of the most severe foliar biotrophic fungal diseases impacting its production. In this work, we searched fo...

    Authors: Susana Trindade Leitão, Diego Rubiales and Maria Carlota Vaz Patto
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:610
  14. Stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), poses a threat to global wheat production. Deployment of widely effective resistance genes underpins management of this ongoing threat. This study...

    Authors: Amy Mackenzie, Michael Norman, Mesfin Gessese, Chunhong Chen, Chris Sørensen, Mogens Hovmøller, Lina Ma, Kerrie Forrest, Lee Hickey, Harbans Bariana, Urmil Bansal and Sambasivam Periyannan
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:590
  15. The orchid industry has seen a recent surge in export values due to the floral morphology and versatile applications of orchids in various markets for medicinal, food additive, and cosmetic usages. However, pl...

    Authors: Yan-Jeng Wu, Shu-Yun Chen, Fu-Cheng Hsu, Wen-Luan Wu, Ting-Fang Hsieh, Jiunn-Feng Su, Yung-Hsiang Lai, Pen-Chih Lai, Wen-Huei Chen and Hong-Hwa Chen
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:545
  16. Powdery mildew is a major disease that causes great losses in soybean yield and seed quality. Disease-resistant varieties, which are generated by reducing the impact of susceptibility genes through mutation in...

    Authors: Thao Phuong Bui, Huy Le, Dong Thi Ta, Cuong Xuan Nguyen, Ngoc Thu Le, Truong Thi Tran, Phuong Van Nguyen, Gary Stacey, Minviluz G. Stacey, Ngoc Bich Pham, Ha Hoang Chu and Phat Tien Do
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:533
  17. Latania scale (Hemiberlesia lataniae Signoret) is an armoured scale insect known to cause damage to kiwifruit plants and fruit, which ultimately reduces crop values and creates post-harvest export and quarantine ...

    Authors: Casey Flay, Jibran Tahir, Elena Hilario, Lena Fraser, Kate Stannard, Vaughan Symonds and Paul Datson
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:530
  18. In hexaploid wheat, quantitative trait loci (QTL) and meta-QTL (MQTL) analyses were conducted to identify genomic regions controlling resistance to cereal cyst nematode (CCN), Heterodera avenae. A mapping populat...

    Authors: Saksham Pundir, Rakhi Singh, Vikas Kumar Singh, Shiveta Sharma, Harindra Singh Balyan, Pushpendra Kumar Gupta and Shailendra Sharma
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:529
  19. Peanut is an important oil crop worldwide. Peanut web blotch is a fungal disease that often occurs at the same time as other leaf spot diseases, resulting in substantial leaf drop, which seriously affects the ...

    Authors: Xiaohui Wu, Ziqi Sun, Feiyan Qi, Hua Liu, Mingbo Zhao, Juan Wang, Mengmeng Wang, Ruifang Zhao, Yue Wu, Wenzhao Dong, Zheng Zheng and Xinyou Zhang
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:518
  20. Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a devastating fungal disease that poses a significant threat to wheat production, causing substantial yield losses. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of wheat resistance to FHB ...

    Authors: Can Chen, Qi Guo, Qifang He, Zhuangbo Tian, Weihao Hao, Xinyu Shan, Jie Lu, Bronwyn J. Barkla, Chuanxi Ma and Hongqi Si
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:433
  21. Rice is the second-largest food crop in the world and vulnerable to bacterial leaf streak disease. A thorough comprehension of the genetic foundation of agronomic traits was essential for effective implementat...

    Authors: Xiaoyang Zhu, Lei Chen, Zhanying Zhang, Jinjie Li, Hongliang Zhang, Zichao Li, Yinghua Pan and Xueqiang Wang
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:396
  22. Plant-parasitic root-knot nematodes cause immense yield declines in crop plants that ultimately obviate global food security. They maintain an intimate relationship with their host plants and hijack the host m...

    Authors: Tushar K. Dutta, Neeraj Vashisth, Soham Ray, Victor Phani, Viswanathan Chinnusamy and Anil Sirohi
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:390
  23. Anthracnose is a fungal disease caused by Colletotrichum spp. that has a significant impact on worldwide pepper production. Colletotrichum scovillei is the most common pathogenic anthracnose-causing species in th...

    Authors: Nayoung Ro, Mesfin Haile, Onsook Hur, Ho-Cheol Ko, Jung-Yoon Yi, Hee-Jong Woo, Yu-Mi Choi, Juhee Rhee, Yong-Jik Lee, Dong-Am Kim, Jae-Wang Do, Geon Woo Kim, Jin-Kyung Kwon and Byoung-Cheorl Kang
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:389
  24. Maize production in lowland agro-ecologies in West and Central Africa is constrained by the fungus Exserohilum turcicum, causal agent of Northern Corn Leaf Blight (NCLB). Breeding for resistance to NCLB is consid...

    Authors: Faith A. Bankole, Baffour Badu-Apraku, Abiodun O. Salami, Titilayo D.O. Falade, Ranajit Bandyopadhyay and Alejandro Ortega-Beltran
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:386
  25. Chrysanthemum Fusarium wilt is a common fungal disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum, which causes continuous cropping obstacles and huge losses to the chrysanthemum industry. The defense mechanism of chrysanthemu...

    Authors: Weihao Miao, Yanrong Yang, Mengtong Wu, Gan huang, Lijiao Ge, Ye Liu, Zhiyong Guan, Sumei Chen, Weimin Fang, Fadi Chen and Shuang Zhao
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:312
  26. Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused by Fusarium graminearum, is one of the most destructive wheat diseases worldwide. FHB infection can dramatically reduce grain yield and quality due to mycotoxins contamination. ...

    Authors: Mitra Serajazari, Davoud Torkamaneh, Emily Gordon, Elizabeth Lee, Helen Booker, Karl Peter Pauls and Alireza Navabi
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:290
  27. The myeloblastosis (MYB) superfamily is the largest transcription factor family in plants that play diverse roles during stress responses. However, the biotic stress-responsive MYB transcription factors of the...

    Authors: Xianyou Wang, Shanshan Zhao, Ruijin Zhou, Yunli Liu, Longlong Guo and Huiling Hu
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:279
  28. Cassava mosaic disease (CMD) of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) has expanded across many continents. Sri Lankan cassava mosaic virus (SLCMV; family Geminiviridae), which is the predominant cause of CMD in Thai...

    Authors: Somruthai Chaowongdee, Srihunsa Malichan, Pornkanok Pongpamorn, Atchara Paemanee and Wanwisa Siriwan
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:178
  29. Alternaria solani (A. solani), the main pathogen of potato early blight, causes serious yield reductions every year. The application of fungicides is the most common and effective method of controlling Alternaria

    Authors: Jia Jiang, Xuhao Guo, Huanhuan Tan, Mingya Ding, Fangming Liu, Zhihui Yang and Jiehua Zhu
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:120
  30. Powdery mildew, caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici (Bgt), is a serious fungal disease that critically threatens the yield and quality of wheat. Utilization of host resistance is the most effective and eco...

    Authors: Wenjing Zhang, Ziyang Yu, Dongmei Wang, Luning Xiao, Fuyu Su, Yanjun Mu, Jianpeng Zheng, Linzhi Li, Yan Yin, Tianying Yu, Yuli Jin and Pengtao Ma
    Citation: BMC Plant Biology 2023 23:113