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Food Security and Plant Disease Management
2021, Pages 387-404

Microbial volatiles: Prospects for plant defense and disease management

AjayKumar1, V. Yeka Zhimo1, Antonio Biasi1, Oleg Feygenberg1, Shoshana Salim1, James Francis White2, Michael Wisniewski3, Samir Droby1

Department of Postharvest Science, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion, Israel.


Microbial volatiles are low-molecular-weight compounds synthesized by range of microbial strains including bacteria and fungi. The chemical diversity of volatiles is variable and strain specific. Although low boiling point, and high vapor pressure of volatiles make easy transition between soil particles associated water and environment, thereby mediating microbial interactions with each other. Different bacterial and fungal microbial strains are documented to synthesize a range of volatiles and their volatile spectra are strain specific and also depend upon various factors including growth stage, media composition, temperature, and pH. The latest advanced techniques have revealed numerous microbial volatiles that may be potentially applied in the various aspects of agriculture as plant growth regulators and biocontrol agents in disease management. Interestingly, cost effectiveness as well as the eco-friendly nature of microbial volatiles, has made them of interest for their use as biopesticides against range of bacterial and fungal pathogens during growing or postharvest storage conditions. This chapter summarizes the different aspects of microbial volatiles, sources, extraction methods, limiting factors, diversity, and their potential application against phytopathogens.

Keywords: Microbial volatiles, biocontrol agents, plant defense, extraction, volatiles spectrum.

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