Location: Food Quality LaboratoryTitle: Botrytis spp.: a contemporary perspective and synthesis of recent scientific breakthroughs of a widespread genus that threatens global food security
Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/22/2020
Publication Date: 2/10/2021
Citation: Richards, J., Xiao, C., Jurick Ii, W.M. 2021. Botrytis spp.: a contemporary perspective and synthesis of recent scientific breakthroughs of a widespread genus that threatens global food security. Phytopathology. 111:432-436. https://doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-10-20-0475-IA.
Interpretive Summary: Grey mold, caused primarily by Botrytis spp., is a major threat to the global food security. The fungus negatively affects produce quality, thereby reducing fruit and vegetable consumption, and significantly contributes to food loss and waste. Management options are limited and the emergence of fungicide-resistant make disease management difficult. In this invited article, new information on how fungicide resistance develops and ways to manage control failures are presented. A significant leap forward, regarding both the host and pathogen, have been achieved which likely will spawn new grey mold controls and facilitate gene discovery studies in the fungus.
Technical Abstract: The perspective article represents a concise synopsis of the topics contained in the pathogen spotlight on Botrytis spp. ranging from synthesis of Botrytis spp. biology and systematics, genomic characterization of new species, perspectives on genome editing, and fungicide resistance. A timely breakthrough to engineer host plant resistance against the gray mold fungus has been demonstrated in planta and may augment chemical controls in the near future. While B. cinerea has garnered much of the research spotlight, other economically important Botrytis spp. have been identified and characterized via morphological and genome-based approaches. Gray mold control is achieved primarily through fungicide applications and resistance to various chemical classes is a major concern that threatens global plant health and food security. In this issue, new information on molecular mechanism(s) of fungicide resistance and ways to manage control failures is presented. Finally, a significant leap in fundamental pathogen biology has been achieved via development of CRISPR/Cas9 to assess gene function in the fungus which likely will spawn new control mechanisms and facilitate gene discovery studies.