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Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol., 31 March 2023
Sec. Fungal Pathogenesis
Volume 13 - 2023 |

Editorial: Virulence of filamentous fungi and its interaction with plants

  • 1State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory for Biology of Vegetable Diseases and Insect Pests, College of Plant Protection, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, Shandong, China
  • 2Department of Plant Pathology, College of Plant Protection, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China
  • 3University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 4China National Rice Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou, China

Filamentous fungi are a large group of various human and plant pathogenic fungi that seriously threaten people or plant health and cause huge economic losses. To successfully infect plants, some key regulators of fungi perform respective functions to ensure the formation of infectious fungi structures such as appressorium to interfere with plant immunity. Thus, exploring essential regulators for fungus virulence and the specific interaction mechanisms between fungi and plants is extremely important. This Research Topic aims to identify essential regulators that participate in the regulation of virulence of filamentous fungi, revealing their pathogenic mechanism and how they interact with plants. Meanwhile, we also present research on plant resistance to filamentous fungi and other related mechanisms of plant resistance changes.

Rice blast, caused by the filamentous fungi Magnaporthe oryzae, is one of the most serious threats to rice production worldwide (Pennisi, 2010; Du et al., 2022). Several essential regulators that participate in fungal virulence have been identified in recent years. These affect functional appressorium formation, reaction oxygen species, and so on (Yin et al., 2019; Li et al., 2020; Liu et al., 2020; Yin et al., 2020; Shi et al., 2021; Guo et al., 2023). Recently, the vitamin B6 synthase gene OsPDX1 has been found to play an essential role in rice stomatal immunity against pathogens (Liu et al., 2022). However, how the gene affects pathogens remains unknown. According to studies in our Research Topic, the pyridoxine biosynthesis protein MoPdx1 affects the appressorium function and pathogenicity of M. oryzae through vitamin biosynthesis. Deletion of MoPDX1 leads to defects in the appressorium turgor pressure, which could be restored by exogenous vitamin B6, indicating that vitamins are involved in the development and pathogenicity of the fungus (Yang et al.), providing new insights into the roles of vitamins in fungal virulence.

Recently, beneficial microorganisms (including endophytic fungi) and their metabolism products have attracted significant attention as promising tools to control disease and improve crop yield, contributing to global food security (Cao et al., 2021; Lu et al., 2022; Wang et al., 2022). These also work in the prevention of rice blast. A study revealed that Bacillus subtilis KLBMPGC81 suppresses appressorium-mediated plant infection by altering the cell wall integrity signaling pathway and multiple cell biological processes in M. oryzae, providing new evidence of biocontrol of rice blast (Li et al.). In addition, another study reported diverse endophytic fungal species between grassy weeds with different herbicide resistances, suggesting that differences in endophytic fungi may contribute to the herbicide resistance of wheat fields in China (Zhan et al.).

Besides M. oryzae, researchers also systematically identified the Common in Fungal Extracellular Membrane (CFEM) domain containing proteins in another hemibiotrophic pathogenic fungus (Marssonina brunnea) in poplars (Qian et al.). This finding determined that four CFEM members are effectors of M. brunnea and provide valuable targets for further dissection of the molecular mechanisms underlying the poplar–M. brunnea interaction.

In summary, the studies in this Research Topic promote the understanding of fungi–plant interactions and indicate the immense potential of endophytic fungi on biological disease control.

Author contributions

ZY and XD conceived and designed the topic, and also spread our topic. XL invited reviewers and controlled the quality of articles. YK and JH assisted in reviewing the manuscripts. All authors contributed to the article and approved the submitted version.


We would like to thank the editorial office of Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology for giving us the opportunity to organize this Research Topic. Also, many thanks to the support and great efforts of every member of our Research Topic and the contributing authors who were interested in it.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Publisher’s note

All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article, or claim that may be made by its manufacturer, is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.


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Keywords: virulence, filamentous fungi, Magnaporthe oryzae, resistance, disease control

Citation: Yin Z, Liu X, Huang J, Kou Y and Ding X (2023) Editorial: Virulence of filamentous fungi and its interaction with plants. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. 13:1168148. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2023.1168148

Received: 17 February 2023; Accepted: 07 March 2023;
Published: 31 March 2023.

Edited and Reviewed by:

Anuradha Chowdhary, University of Delhi, India

Copyright © 2023 Yin, Liu, Huang, Kou and Ding. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Ziyi Yin,; Xinhua Ding,

These authors have contributed equally to this work