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Effect of increased CO2 and temperature on plant diseases: a critical appraisal of results obtained in studies carried out under controlled environment facilities

Gullino, Maria Lodovica, Pugliese, Massimo, Gilardi, Giovanna, Garibaldi, Angelo
Journal of plant pathology 2018 v.100 no.3 pp. 371-389
Alternaria, Ampelomyces quisqualis, Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, Eruca vesicaria subsp. sativa, Phoma leaf spot disease, Vitis, basil, beets, biological control agents, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide enrichment, climate change, climatic factors, cultivars, disease control, disease severity, downy mildew, leaf spot, lettuce, mycotoxins, new variety, plant pathogens, powdery mildew, seed industry, temperature, vegetable crops, zucchini
Increases in carbon dioxide (CO(2)) and temperature are expected to induce complex effects on plant pathogens. The results of studies on the effects of climate change on a number of pathosystems, such as the downy and powdery mildew of grapevines, and on several pathogens of vegetable crops, such as rocket, basil, beet and zucchini, have been analysed in this review. In the reviewed works, plants were grown in controlled environment facilities (phytotrons) under six different simulated climatic conditions: a standard CO(2) concentration (400–450 ppm) with a standard (ranging from 18 to 22/24 °C) and elevated temperature (5 °C higher than standard), and elevated CO(2) (800–850 ppm) under a standard and elevated temperature. When the CO(2) level and the temperature were increased, an increase was observed of powdery mildew on zucchini, Alternaria leaf spot on rocket salad, black spot and downy mildew on basil, Allophoma tropica on lettuce and Phoma leaf spot on garden beet. Variable effects were instead observed when individual climate parameters were taken into consideration. The effects of changed environmental values on some physiological parameters on the production of mycotoxins as well as on disease management were also considered on selected pathosystems. CO(2) concentration and temperature proved to influence disease severity and mycotoxin production in different ways. As far as the application of biocontrol agents is concerned, the efficacy of Ampelomyces quisqualis against zucchini powdery mildew was found to be improved under higher temperature and CO(2) conditions. The results obtained with different host/pathogen combinations will allow to develop adaptation strategies for disease management and to provide the seed industry with useful information in order to develop new cultivars that will be more adapted/adaptable to the changing conditions. The usefulness and limitations of studies carried out under controlled environment conditions are critically discussed.