Jesús Mercado BlancoScientific Researcher at Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC),
Jesús Mercado-Blanco is Senior Researcher of the Spanish Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Head of the Crop Protection Department at the Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible (IAS-CSIC, Córdoba, Spain) (2020-2022), and Convenor of the WG "Integrated Protection of Olive Crops” of the International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control (IOBC) (since 2021). His research is mainly focused on microbiology, agro-biotechnology, plant-microorganism interactions, and the development of control tools within integrated management strategies of soil-borne diseases affecting crops relevant for the Mediterranean area, using Verticillium wilt of olive a study system. Fusarium wilt of banana is also an important target under investigation. The identification, characterization and use of biological control agents (BCA) constitute one of his main research lines. Specific research topics are, among others: 1) the elucidation of the molecular bases underlying interactions involving BCA, soil-borne phytopathogens and host plants by molecular and ‘-omics’ approaches; 2) the characterization and utilization of beneficial bacterial endophytes; and 3) the analysis of the genetic and molecular diversity of rhizosphere/soil microorganisms. He has participated in more than 20 research projects and contracts (11 as Principal Investigator). He is author of several book chapters and more than 120 research, technical and dissemination articles. Co-inventor of 9 patents. Consulting Editor of the journal Plant and Soil (Section Editor from 2008 to 2018), Associated Editor of the journals BioControl (2010 to 2021) and Frontiers in Microbiology (2016 to 2019), and Guest Editor of different Special Issues published by different scientific journals. He has been invited to give seminars, keynotes, conferences and webinars for different academic institutions as well as in diverse scientific and technical meetings (Costa Rica, France, Italy, Israel, Mexico, The Netherlands, The Philippines, PR China, Rumania, Spain, etc.).