Bioprospecting bacterial and fungal volatiles for sustainable agriculture

Trends Plant Sci. 2015 Apr;20(4):206-11. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2015.01.004. Epub 2015 Feb 3.


Current agricultural practice depends on a wide use of pesticides, bactericides, and fungicides. Increased demand for organic products indicates consumer preference for reduced chemical use. Therefore, there is a need to develop novel sustainable strategies for crop protection and enhancement that do not rely on genetic modification and/or harmful chemicals. An increasing body of evidence indicates that bacterial and fungal microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) might provide an alternative to the use of chemicals to protect plants from pathogens and provide a setting for better crop welfare. It is well known that MVOCs can modulate the physiology of plants and microorganisms and in this Opinion we propose that MVOCs can be exploited as an ecofriendly, cost-effective, and sustainable strategy for agricultural practices.

Keywords: microbial volatile organic compounds; plant growth promotion; plant protection; plant–microbe interactions; sustainable agriculture.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture*
  • Bacteria / chemistry*
  • Bioprospecting*
  • Fungi / chemistry*
  • Plant Development*
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / analysis*


  • Volatile Organic Compounds