Review: Climate change impacts on plant pathogens, food security, and paths forward

Much of what is written about the impacts of climate change on food production is focused on the abiotic stresses that plants will experience, but biotic stresses will be equally impactful, as discussed in this fine review by Singh et al. The challenges in predicting climate impacts on plant disease severity are complicated in part because the impacts on the abundance and virulence of the pathogen must be considered, as well the abundance and vigor (impacting defenses) of the plant host, global shifts in the distributions of plant and pathogen, and the impacts on the plant microbiome, which can promote or suppress disease. Furthermore, all these interactions are impacted by daytime temperatures, nighttime temperatures, water availability, elevated CO2 levels, and other abiotic factors. The authors outline several strategies to manage future disease outbreaks such as modified land management practices including the use of beneficial microbes; technical innovations including biochemical sensors and remote sensing tools, and science-policy interfaces for information sharing amongst farmers and through international organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and CGIAR (Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research. (Summary by Mary Williams @PlantTeaching) Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 10.1038/s41579-023-00900-7