About this Research Topic
Beneficial microbiome is an essential prerequisite to organism’s growth and health but most of the functions of microorganisms are unknown in plants. The microbiome of plants apparently is modified by host genotype, physiological stage and environment. The versatility of fungal life strategies has greatly influenced our understanding of plant mycobiome function. Increasing evidence suggests that instead of dichotomy, the soil saprobes and mycorrhizae are continuum. The mycorrhizal symbiosis in basidiomycetes has evolved from plant parasitic ancestors multiple times. Several saprotrophs are able to colonize fine roots of conifer seedlings and establish non-harmful association with trees. In addition, endophytic organisms may switch to saprophytic mode during degradation process of the plant tissues or to pathogenic life style in case the trees suffer stress. Also, the dual life style of pathogen and endophyte is possible in different tissues of plant.
Plants harbor diverse mycobiota, which has effects on their health. A high number of studies related to plant-fungal interactions has been performed, but the information has rarely been combined with mycobiome level. To date, comparative investigations of fungal communities (mycobiomes) of plants growing in distinct habitats and under distinct climate regimes have been rare. Currently high-throughput sequencing facilitates analyses of mycobiome responses in detail. Trees are masters of biochemical warfare that deploy their defense arsenal to deter harmful pathogens and insects.
At the same time, some fungi are symbiotic or endophytic partners of trees, which are as necessary to tree health. This highlights the importance of mycobiomes in trees, as some other fungal partners can enhance tree health. It is possible that differences in the microbiota will influence the processes leading to disease outbreak as fungal pathogens have niche competitors, which in theory could be used against them. As hypothesis, microbiome may enhance the tolerance of the host tree to fungal pathogens. New findings to support this are extremely important, as in future, there might be a possibility to favour the use of beneficial microbiomes that can act as biocontrol agents in IPM.
This Research Topic focuses on studies (including e.g. original research, perspectives, minireviews, commentaries and opinion papers) that investigate and discuss:
-The mycobiome of healthy and diseased trees
-The mycobiome of trees between different sites
-The mycobiomes in under/above ground of trees
-Possibilities to utilize mycobiomes in forestry
-Mycobiomes increasing fitness of tree host
-Biocontrol abilities of fungi /mycobiomes against certain tree pathogens
Keywords: Mycobiomes, pathogens, health, endophytes, fungi
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