Oomycete pathogens that belong to the genus Phytophthora cause devastating diseases in solanaceous crops such as pepper, potato, and tobacco, resulting in crop production losses worldwide. Although the application of fungicides efficiently controls these diseases, it has been shown to trigger negative side effects such as environmental pollution, phytotoxicity, and fungicide resistance in plant pathogens. Therefore, biological control of Phytophthora-induced diseases was proposed as an environmentally sound alternative to conventional chemical control. In this review, progress on biological control of the soilborne oomycete plant pathogens, Phytophthora capsici, Phytophthora infestans, and Phytophthora nicotianae, infecting pepper, potato, and tobacco is described. Bacterial (e.g., Acinetobacter, Bacillus, Chryseobacterium, Paenibacillus, Pseudomonas, and Streptomyces) and fungal (e.g., Trichoderma and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi) agents, and yeasts (e.g., Aureobasidium, Curvibasidium, and Metschnikowia) have been reported as successful biocontrol agents of Phytophthora pathogens. These microorganisms antagonize Phytophthora spp. via antimicrobial compounds with inhibitory activities against mycelial growth, sporulation, and zoospore germination. They also trigger plant immunity-inducing systemic resistance via several pathways, resulting in enhanced defense responses in their hosts. Along with plant protection, some of the microorganisms promote plant growth, thereby enhancing their beneficial relations with host plants. Although the beneficial effects of the biocontrol microorganisms are acceptable, single applications of antagonistic microorganisms tend to lack consistent efficacy compared with chemical analogues. Therefore, strategies to improve the biocontrol performance of these prominent antagonists are also discussed in this review.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by Korea University, Seoul, Korea. Elena Volynchikova was supported by the Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP) during the completion of her Ph.D. at Korea University, Seoul, Korea. The authors thank Anastasia Kitashova for her help with the illustration of the life cycle of Phytophthora spp.
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of the Korean Society of Mycology.
- Phytophthora capsici
- Phytophthora infestans
- Phytophthora nicotianae
- solanaceous crop
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases