About this Research Topic
There is evidence of a several-million-year coevolutionary history between invertebrate-pathogenic fungi and their hosts. However, several aspects of these molecular interactions remain obscure. Although it is well-known that most of these fungi find their hosts among the arthropods, their role as either nematophagous (i.e., nematode-trapping fungi) or endophytes (i.e., living within plant tissues) were more recently described, and have since become active fields of study. The fungus–insect interactions are known to drive pathogenic cycles that usually culminate host death, and are therefore very useful tools in biological control programs. Fungus-nematode interactions have unique features like the formation of mycelial trap devices for capturing nematodes. As endophytes, invertebrate-pathogenic fungi engage in mutualistic interaction with plants resulting in increased plant resistance to herbivores and pathogens, mainly by toxin and secondary metabolites production, thus becoming an indirect way of biological control of insect pests.
In contrast to the traditional research that is hypothesis driven, omics research is often discovery driven. The power of genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics represents excellent high throughput approaches to study an entire interacting system. 'Omics is based on exploring data to identify relationships that were previously unknown. In order to capture the entire picture of the interaction, dual RNA sequencing (dual RNA-seq) represents a novel and useful field of study. This technique simultaneously captures all classes of coding and noncoding transcripts in both interacting organisms, and after mapping against both reference genomes, allows to have a more accurate insight of such interaction.
This research topic will be focus on all aspects of the interaction between invertebrate-pathogenic fungi and their wide range of hosts; including insects, ticks, nematodes, and plants as well as other microorganisms, by using omics techniques to address a quantitative analysis of all the constituents of those interacting system. Consequently, manuscripts using microarrays, next generation sequencing (including dual RNA-seq), and mass spectrometry approaches are welcome and encouraged to be submitted to this research topic in order to begin to close the existing information gap.
Keywords: Fungal interactions, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, epigenomics
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