Molecular Plant Pathology (2016) 17, 1506-1518

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George W. Sundin, Luisa F. Castiblanco, Xiaochen Yuan, Quan Zeng and Ching-Hong Yang (2016)
Bacterial disease management: challenges, experience, innovation and future prospects
Molecular Plant Pathology 17 (9), 1506-1518
Abstract: Plant diseases caused by bacterial pathogens place major constraints on crop production and cause significant annual losses on a global scale. The attainment of consistent effective management of these diseases can be extremely difficult, and management potential is often affected by grower reliance on highly disease-susceptible cultivars because of consumer preferences, and by environmental conditions favouring pathogen development. New and emerging bacterial disease problems (e.g. zebra chip of potato) and established problems in new geographical regions (e.g. bacterial canker of kiwifruit in New Zealand) grab the headlines, but the list of bacterial disease problems with few effective management options is long.
The ever-increasing global human population requires the continued stable production of a safe food supply with greater yields because of the shrinking areas of arable land. One major facet in the maintenance of the sustainability of crop production systems with predictable yields involves the identification and deployment of sustainable disease management solutions for bacterial diseases. In addition, the identification of novel management tactics has also come to the fore because of the increasing evolution of resistance to existing bactericides. A number of central research foci, involving basic research to identify critical pathogen targets for control, novel methodologies and methods of delivery, are emerging that will provide a strong basis for bacterial disease management into the future.
- Near-term solutions are desperately needed. Are there replacement materials for existing bactericides that can provide effective disease management under field conditions?
- Experience should inform the future. With prior knowledge of bactericide resistance issues evolving in pathogens, how will this affect the deployment of newer compounds and biological controls?
- Knowledge is critical. A comprehensive understanding of bacterial pathosystems is required to not only identify optimal targets in the pathogens, but also optimal seasonal timings for deployment.
- Host resistance to effectors must be exploited, carefully and correctly. Are there other candidate genes that could be targeted in transgenic approaches? How can new technologies (CRISPR, TALEN, etc.) be most effectively used to add sustainable disease resistance to existing commercially desirable plant cultivars?
- We need an insider's perspective on the management of systemic pathogens. In addition to host resistance or reduced sensitivity, are there other methods that can be used to target these pathogen groups?
- Biological systems are variable. Can biological control strategies be improved for bacterial disease management and be made more predictable in function?
The answers to the research foci outlined above are not all available, as will become apparent in this article, but we are heading in the right direction. In this article, we summarize the contributions from past experiences in bacterial disease management, and also describe how advances in bacterial genetics, genomics and host–pathogen interactions are informing novel strategies in virulence inhibition and in host resistance. We also outline potential innovations that could be exploited as the pressures to maximize a safe and productive food supply continue to become more numerous and more complex.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Full text of article

Database assignments for author(s): George W. Sundin

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
control - general

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Erwinia amylovora Apple (Malus)
Clavibacter nebraskensis Maize/corn (Zea mays)
Ralstonia solanacearum Geranium (crop)
Liberibacter asiaticus Citrus (genus)
Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis Cassava (Manihot esculenta)
Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae Beans (Phaseolus)