Biocontrol Of Foliarinfecting Fungi

Pathogenic fungi which infect the leaves and stems of developing plants may enter through senescing tissues, wounded regions, or natural openings, or may penetrate host tissues directly. These fungi can infect plants at all stages of development, and are favored by warm (20-25°C) and humid conditions. Infection results in blighting of the foliage, premature leaf senescence, and compromised plant growth and yield. Biological control agents have been described which when applied to the foliage, can reduce primary infection as well as reduce pathogen development and sporulation, and can colonize wounds and other tissues to preclude pathogen establishment or development. Some of the biological control agents can act as mycoparasites and reduce pathogen growth directly, while others may secrete hydrolytic enzymes and antifungal compounds to reduce pathogen development, or alter pathogen physiology to reduce disease-causing potential. The most widely-researched of these biocontrol agents are fungi (Trichoderma, Ulocladium, Ampelomyces, and Verticillium) and yeasts (Aureobasidium, Cryptococcus, Rhodosporidium, and Rhodotorula).

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