Conclusion Of Microbial Biocontrol

The numerous reports of success in the utility of fungal and yeast biological control agents to reduce fungal diseases on vegetable corps illustrate the potential of this approach for disease management. In addition, the applications of techniques in biotechnology are providing numerous examples of how these biocontrol agents can be characterized, monitored, and investigated in more depth. However, there are unique requirements in working with microbial biocontrol agents that must be recognized if this approach to disease control is to be successful.

Environmental conditions, particularly temperature and moisture, can greatly influence the degree to which fungal and yeast biological control agents can affect fungal diseases on vegetable crops, even in greenhouse environments. Therefore,

Table 2 Examples of fungal and yeast biological control agents that reduce foliar diseases on vegetable crops caused by pathogenic

Biocontrol agent

Target pathogen and host


T. harzianum

B. cinerea on cucumber

Dik and Elad (1999) and

Elad et al. (1993; 1998)

T. harzianum

B. cinerea on tomato

Dik and Elad (1999), Migheli

et al. (1994), and Utkhede et al. (2000)

T. harzianum

C. fulvum on tomato

Elad et al. (2000a)

T. harzianum

S. fuliginea and S. fusca on cucumber

Elad et al. (1998; 2000b)

G. catenulatum

D. bryoniae on cucumber

Utkhede and Coch (unpublished)

A. quisqualis AQ10

S. fusca on cucumber

Elad et al. (1998)

A. pullulans

B. cinerea on tomato and cucumber

Dik and Elad (1999)

C. albidus

B. cinerea on bean, tomato, and cucumber

Dik and Elad (1999) and

Elad et al. (1994)

R. glutinis

B. cinerea on bean and tomato

Elad et al. (1994)

R. diobovatum

B. cinerea on tomato

Utkhede et al. (2000)

C. cladosporioides

B. cinerea on tomato

Eden et al. (1996)

S. flocculosa

S. fuliginea on cucumber

Dik et al. (1998)

T. albescens, T. minor, T. pallescens,

S. fuliginea on cucumber

Hijwegen (1992), Knudsen and Skou

and T. washingtonensis

(1993), Urquhart and Punja (1997),

and Urquhart et al. (1994)

careful monitoring and recording of environmental variables is a requisite. The biological control agents are generally most effective when applied as a preventative treatment, prior to or at the onset of disease, and multiple applications may be needed to provide longer-term disease suppression. At high levels of disease pressure, biological control agents can be anticipated to perform less well. Some of the agents may be used in combination with, or in alternation with, chemical fungicides if it can be demonstrated that their survival is not adversely affected. Similarly, it may be possible that combinations of biocontrol agents may be more effective than single organisms although little research has been done in this area. Biological control agents that affect more than one disease should have greater market potential than those that specifically target a particular disease. It is not clear whether different plant hosts may have an influence on the efficacy of these biocontrol agents.

Notwithstanding these conditions, the use of fungal and yeast biological control agents has generated significant interest in both the scientific research and product development arenas to ensure that commercially viable products will continue to be brought to market.

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  • minto
    What is the conclusion of biological control?
    2 years ago

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