Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The path to successful commercialization and large-scale utilization of pathogenic fungi as biological control agents has proved long and difficult. The great challenge that continues to confront applied mycopathology (and biological control as a whole) is that of finding grower acceptance given the extraordinary efficacy of novel pesticidal chemistries. And yet, in the face of this challenge, research and development of biocontrol fungi has not only continued, but accelerated. These development efforts have been driven, in large part, by the great capacity of pests to resist chemical pesticides and the need to develop sustainable food production methods with minimal environmental impacts. It is important to recognize, however, that the consistent progress achieved by applied mycopathologists continues to be one of the most important development incentives. Consistent and substantial progress in the development of fungi for biological control has been realized throughout the long history of this endeavor, and progress in the past two decades has been exceptional. Recent advances in mass culture, harvest, and stabilization technologies have greatly increased production efficiencies and product shelf life, and breakthroughs in formulation technologies are leading not only to products with improved handling and application characteristics, but also with greater and more consistent efficacy. This paper reviews some of the landmark achievements that have stimulated mycoinsecticide development and assesses remaining constraints to, and potential for, successful commercialization.