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Review article2024Peer reviewed

Impact of novel methods and research approaches in plant pathology: Are individual advances sufficient to meet the wider challenges of disease management?

Jeger, Michael; Beresford, Robert; Berlin, Anna; Bock, Clive; Fox, Adrian; Gold, Kaitlin M.; Newton, Adrian C.; Vicent, Antonio; Xu, Xiangming

Abstract

Advances continue to be made by plant pathologists on topics in plant health, environmental protection and food security. Many advances have been made for individual crops, pathogens and diseases that in many cases have led to their successful management. A wider impact of research depends on recognition of the multifaceted challenges posed by plant diseases and the need to integrate studies in a systems level approach. The adoption of high-throughput sequencing for diagnosis and detection is widespread but impact depends upon the agricultural and ecological context combined with improved surveillance. Deployment of host resistance in the field needs to be aligned with a greater appreciation of plant genetic diversity and the complementary contribution made by tolerance of disease. Epidemiological understanding of the spatiotemporal spread of plant diseases has improved through population dynamic and genetic analyses. Research emphasis on the plant microbiome has invigorated soil microbial studies, especially for disease complexes and declines, but the challenge is to move to interventions that benefit plant health. Analysis of the impacts of climate change has been made for single-crop disease studies, but seldom have these been placed in the context of pathogen adaptation, new crops, wild plants, vectors and soil microbes. Advances in informatic analysis illustrate not only the global impacts of plant disease introductions, but also the challenges inherent in marshalling and integrating information. Advances have been made in applying artificial intelligence technologies across many areas of plant pathology but have yet to be integrated within any coordinated research agenda.Novel research methods and approaches have led to many improved disease management practices, but wider impact depends on their integration to meet the multifaceted challenges posed by plant diseases.image

Keywords

artificial intelligence; diagnosis and surveillance; disease management; global change; microbiome; spatiotemporal spread

Published in

Plant Pathology
2024,
Publisher: WILEY