Research Topic

The Use of Plant Extracts and Essential Oils as Biopesticides

About this Research Topic

For several decades, the control of plant diseases and pests were mainly based on the frequent use of pesticides. However, as science advances, the importance of mitigating the exposure of plants, animals, and humans to hazardous chemicals is better understood. Many conventional synthetic pesticides have become of concern, even if they are presumed to have reached the required level of "safety". The repeated and continuous use of pesticides based on the same active ingredient considerably promotes the development of resistant populations of harmful organisms, resulting in an additional need for pesticides.

Plant derivatives represent effective alternatives to synthetic chemicals and provide very promising results. It is now widely recognized that certain fungal, bacterial, nematode, weed, and insect control agents derived from plants can be developed into commercial products suitable for integrated pest management. Plant extracts and essential oil-based pesticide products are selective in their target, while no harm is made to non-target organisms and the environment. These pesticides act differently depending on the types of plant pathogens and pests and can be applied to the plant in the same way as conventional pesticides. Many plant extracts and essential oils are already screened for their effectiveness against a wide range of pathogens and pests, further confirmed by field studies.

This Research Topic welcomes manuscripts highlighting the use of plant extracts and plant essential oils as alternative control strategies for fungal plant pathogens, bacterial plant pathogens, nematodes, mites, insects, and weeds. The following issues should be addressed:

• Positive controls: Contributors must consider positive control for their botanical screenings. Positive control could be either a commercial botanical insecticide (neem, Azadirachta indica), or a natural insecticide (Spinosad, Bacillus thuringiensis). Moreover, conventional synthetic insecticide could be used.
• Better to consider works with various plant collections, the same plant species could be considered if many collections were made over time and sites. Exceptions can be made only for endangered, protected, or endemic plant species. Moreover, papers should provide chemical characterizations of the oils or extracts. This allows the possible reproducibility and will permit the comparison with present or future works. Furthermore, papers on other key issues including the development of nanomaterials based on essential oils or their bioactive compounds, industrial or field applications of plant extracts or oils, the optimization of aromatic and medicinal plant cropping conditions and extraction procedures permitting homogeneous composition of essential oils. In addition, studies on biopesticides authorization requirements could be accepted.

Some of the potential themes of this Topic include but are not limited to:

• Plant extracts to control plant foliar diseases and postharvest fruit diseases,
• Biochemical and molecular modes of action of plant extracts for plant disease control,
• Plant extracts and EO for control of greenhouse and field insect and disease pests,
• Plant extracts and EO for stored insect pest control,
• Plant extracts and EO for control of mites,
• Use of plant extracts and EO for weed control: mechanisms and formulations,
• Plant extracts and EO for bacterial control


Keywords: plant pathogens, pests, plant extracts, Essential Oils, biopesticides


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

For several decades, the control of plant diseases and pests were mainly based on the frequent use of pesticides. However, as science advances, the importance of mitigating the exposure of plants, animals, and humans to hazardous chemicals is better understood. Many conventional synthetic pesticides have become of concern, even if they are presumed to have reached the required level of "safety". The repeated and continuous use of pesticides based on the same active ingredient considerably promotes the development of resistant populations of harmful organisms, resulting in an additional need for pesticides.

Plant derivatives represent effective alternatives to synthetic chemicals and provide very promising results. It is now widely recognized that certain fungal, bacterial, nematode, weed, and insect control agents derived from plants can be developed into commercial products suitable for integrated pest management. Plant extracts and essential oil-based pesticide products are selective in their target, while no harm is made to non-target organisms and the environment. These pesticides act differently depending on the types of plant pathogens and pests and can be applied to the plant in the same way as conventional pesticides. Many plant extracts and essential oils are already screened for their effectiveness against a wide range of pathogens and pests, further confirmed by field studies.

This Research Topic welcomes manuscripts highlighting the use of plant extracts and plant essential oils as alternative control strategies for fungal plant pathogens, bacterial plant pathogens, nematodes, mites, insects, and weeds. The following issues should be addressed:

• Positive controls: Contributors must consider positive control for their botanical screenings. Positive control could be either a commercial botanical insecticide (neem, Azadirachta indica), or a natural insecticide (Spinosad, Bacillus thuringiensis). Moreover, conventional synthetic insecticide could be used.
• Better to consider works with various plant collections, the same plant species could be considered if many collections were made over time and sites. Exceptions can be made only for endangered, protected, or endemic plant species. Moreover, papers should provide chemical characterizations of the oils or extracts. This allows the possible reproducibility and will permit the comparison with present or future works. Furthermore, papers on other key issues including the development of nanomaterials based on essential oils or their bioactive compounds, industrial or field applications of plant extracts or oils, the optimization of aromatic and medicinal plant cropping conditions and extraction procedures permitting homogeneous composition of essential oils. In addition, studies on biopesticides authorization requirements could be accepted.

Some of the potential themes of this Topic include but are not limited to:

• Plant extracts to control plant foliar diseases and postharvest fruit diseases,
• Biochemical and molecular modes of action of plant extracts for plant disease control,
• Plant extracts and EO for control of greenhouse and field insect and disease pests,
• Plant extracts and EO for stored insect pest control,
• Plant extracts and EO for control of mites,
• Use of plant extracts and EO for weed control: mechanisms and formulations,
• Plant extracts and EO for bacterial control


Keywords: plant pathogens, pests, plant extracts, Essential Oils, biopesticides


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

11 January 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

11 January 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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