In nature, plants are constantly exposed to microorganisms and pests, some of which can be pathogenic. Plant diseases can have a strong environmental and economic impact, and represent a major threat to food security due to crop yield losses. This is especially true under the extreme weather conditions associated with climate change, which affect the response of plants to abiotic and biotic stress, including infectious diseases. The occurrence and spreading of plant diseases demand major efforts to understand how and why the pathogenesis occurs, and improve the available strategies for plant disease diagnosis, management and resistance.
Recent advances in next-generation sequencing technologies enabled the emergence of different omics technologies, such as genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, proteomics, phenomics and ionomics. Multiple-omics approaches have been applied to plant systems for developing effective diagnostic tools for plant diseases and better understanding plants' response to disease. When implemented and integrated, multiple-omics methods can provide a ‘holistic picture’ that can reveal how plants sense, respond to and eliminate disease-causing (micro) organisms. They can therefore be essential in revealing the mechanisms underlying plant-microbial interactions, developing effective diagnostic tools for plant diseases, and bioengineering genetic control strategies for disease resilience in plants.
To acknowledge the relevance of this growing research field in the context of achieving sustainable food security for the future (The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals 2 (SDG2), ‘Zero hunger’), BMC Plant Biology announces the launch of the collection Multi-omics approaches for plant disease diagnosis and resilience. We invite submissions of manuscripts on novel research and applications where multi-omics methods are applied to improve disease diagnosis and resilience in plants. This collection aims to highlight the importance and potential challenges of developing and integrating multi-omics technologies to take a holistic approach on plant pathogenesis, plant disease diagnosis and control, and ultimately plant disease resistance.
Our collection seeks to showcase recent research articles and methods exploring a broad range of research areas, including the following topics:
- Application and integration of omics technologies (e.g. genomics, meta-genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, proteomics) for plant disease diagnosis and resilience
- Genomes and pangenomes of disease-causing pathogens, and pan-genome-wide association (pan-GWAS) studies to uncover unknown virulence genes
- Pathogenicity-associated genes in bacterial and fungal pathogens
- Host-induced gene silencing (HIGS) and spray induced gene silencing (SIGS) using RNA silencing mechanisms to manage pathogens in the field
- Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify plant disease resistance loci or genes
- Population genomics of plant pathogens
- Genomics-assisted breeding of crop varieties for disease resistance
- Multi-omics approaches applied to plant-pathogen interactions
- Molecular crosstalk between host and pathogen during infection
- Plant-microbiome crosstalk to improve disease resilience in plants
- Development of diagnostic markers for pathogen identification and rapid disease diagnosis
- Plant phenomics and ionomics applied to plant disease diagnosis and resilience
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