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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Fighting Fusarium Pathogens in the Era of Climate Change: A Conceptual Approach

Timmusk, Salme; Nevo, Eviatar; Ayele, Fantaye; Noe, Steffen; Niinemets, Ulo


Fusarium head blight (FHB) caused byFusariumpathogens is one of the most devastating fungal diseases of small grain cereals worldwide, substantially reducing yield quality and food safety. Its severity is increasing due to the climate change caused by weather fluctuations. Intensive research on FHB control methods has been initiated more than a decade ago. Since then, the environment has been rapidly changing at regional to global scales due to increasing anthropogenic emissions enhanced fertilizer application and substantial changes in land use. It is known that environmental factors affect both the pathogen virulence as well as plant resistance mechanisms. Changes in CO(2)concentration, temperature, and water availability can have positive, neutral, or negative effects on pathogen spread depending on the environmental optima of the pathosystem. Hence, there is a need for studies of plant-pathogen interactions in current and future environmental context. Long-term monitoring data are needed in order to understand the complex nature of plants and its microbiome interactions. We suggest an holobiotic approach, integrating plant phyllosphere microbiome research on the ecological background. This will enable the development of efficient strategies based on ecological know-how to fightFusariumpathogens and maintain sustainable agricultural systems.


ecosystem-atmosphere relations; plant microbiome; Fusarium; bacterial exopolysaccharides; genomic networks; sustainable development

Published in

2020, Volume: 9, number: 6, article number: 419
Publisher: MDPI