About this Research Topic
Plant pathogenic fungi represent a major threat to the economy – with major damages to crops and forests – as well as to the biodiversity of all plant-based ecosystems. The use of control methods [(bio)fungicides, microbial control agents, active natural compounds] can help overcoming these threats. A more comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of underlying plant-pathogen interactions is needed, in order to develop novel, better and safer control strategies.
Anthropogenic activities, the climate change crisis, along with globalization, are important factors that shape fungal adaptation to environmental changes (e.g., increased temperature) and expanded geographic distribution. Additionally, the emergence of antifungal-resistance associated with indiscriminate use of fungicides represents an additional challenge to plant protection and the control of disease outbreaks.
Focusing on the pathogen, when addressing pathogen / host and pathogen / environment interactions, enables identifying the metabolism and strategies used by the infectious agent as well as the mechanisms it uses to adapt to different environments.
The metabolome is the last frontier mediating the communication between the genome and the phenotype of an organism. Since the 1940’s, when the first experiments were done, metabolomics has been increasingly used to characterize the infection mechanism of pathogens. Metabolic profiles have the potential to be used as antifungal resistance markers, to identify microbial associated virulence factors, pathogenicity mechanisms or adaptation mechanisms.
Understanding the virulent nature of fungal pathogens improves the knowledge on the outcome of infection in susceptible hosts and allows predicting pathogen behavior under changing environmental conditions.
We invite authors to contribute articles, reviews or short communications that cover any topic on aspects of the interaction between pathogenic fungi-plants focusing the pathogen-plant and pathogen-environment interactions from the pathogen perspective, assessed by metabolomics. We particularly welcome manuscripts that address:
• Technological developments of fungal metabolomics
• Characterization of new pathosystems
• Identification of new disease biomarkers
• Identification of new antifungal resistance markers
• The interaction of fungal plant pathogens with abiotic factors
Photo by Micael Gonçalves.
Keywords: Fungal interactions, metabolomics, pathogenicity mechanisms, resistance mechanisms
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.