In recent years, the management of plant diseases has emerged as a pivotal challenge in agricultural production. Conventional methods relying on pesticides have raised significant apprehensions regarding food safety, environmental sustainability, and the growing issue of pesticide resistance. In stark contrast, an integrative approach centered on plant nutrition offers a cost-effective and eco-friendly avenue for mitigating plant diseases.
Mineral nutrition, which constitutes a cornerstone of plant growth and development, has long been acknowledged as a vital element in disease control strategies. However, the intricate mechanisms underlying the relationship between mineral nutrition and disease management remain relatively untapped. The impact of mineral nutrition on disease development hinges on several factors, including the form and quantity of nutrients, plant species, and the type of pathogen involved. These mechanisms that drive nutrient-induced alterations in disease dynamics are intricate and diverse.
Mineral nutrition profoundly influences a plant’s disease tolerance or resistance by:
(i) Altering Plant Morphology and Anatomy: Notably, it reinforces cell walls, creating a formidable barrier against pathogen infiltration.
(ii) Affecting Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: This leads to heightened production of inhibitory or repelling substances, fortifying the plant’s defenses.
(iii) Restricting Nutrient Transfer to the Pathogen: By depriving the pathogen of essential nutrients needed for penetration and growth.
(iv) Modifying the Environment: Particularly the rhizosphere, where changes can either hinder or promote pathogen activity.
There is a pressing need for an in-depth understanding of the intricate interplay between mineral nutrition and plant diseases. This knowledge will not only inform strategic fertilizer management but also revolutionize disease control measures, fostering sustainable crop production.
Our Research Topic warmly invites researchers to contribute Original Research and Review articles delving into these diverse facets of mineral nutrition and its impact on plant diseases.
Please note that we prioritize articles that transcend mere descriptions or the identification of gene families, transcripts, proteins, or metabolites. Submissions should strive to provide mechanistic insights into the biological systems or processes under scrutiny. Join us in unraveling the secrets of mineral nutrition’s role in safeguarding our crops and ecosystems.