Microbially produced phytotoxins and plant disease management
Pathogenic fungi and bacteria often damage their host (plants) tissues by producing toxic metabolites, which induced various symptoms such as necrosis, chlorosis, wilting, water soaking and eventually the death of plants. These toxic metabolites also known is one of the weapons used by pathogen inducing disease condition in susceptible host plants. Many pathogens are known to produce toxins both in vitro and in vivo and these toxins have been implicated in the symptom development on the host tissues. Many of these phytotoxic metabolites have also been extracted from diseased plant tissues. Based on the reactions of host crops to the toxic metabolites of respective hosts, methods of rapid screening of germplasm for resistance to plant diseases have been developed. Their application has successfully resulted in resistant lines in some tropical crops like cowpea, cassava, maize, yam, and soybean. Nowadays, these evaluation techniques are becoming an important complement to classical breeding methods. The knowledge of the inactivation of microbial toxins has led to the use of microbial enzymes to inactivate phytotoxins thereby reducing incidence and severity of disease induced by microbial toxins. Considering the increasing awareness of herbicide resistance, and the restriction of the use of chemical pesticides in agriculture against plant pathogens, novel compounds from microorganisms also provided new environmentally friendly bio-herbicides for the control of parasitic weeds that are normally difficult to control.
Keywords: Microbial toxins, phytotoxins, toxic metabolites, disease managements, pathogenicity , toxigenicity, host specific toxins, non host specific toxins