Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Plant Pathology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 2000
Publication Date: January 20, 2001
Citation: Bull, C.T. 2001. Biofungicide. Encyclopedia of Plant Pathology. Maloy, O., Murray, T. (Eds.)John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hoboken, N.J. p. 128-129. Technical Abstract: Biopesticide is a term which was developed in response to statutes of the United States government. Under the U.S. Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) biological agents which have been documented to control disease are considered to be pesticides (40 CFR 152.3). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which administers FIFRA has therefore used the terms biological control agent and biopesticide interchangeably. A biopesticide according to the EPA is a "Microbial pesticides contain a microorganism (e.g., a bacterium, fungus, virus or protozoan) as the active ingredient." In general, biopesticides can kill or control many different kinds of pests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture IR-4 Program also includes non-viable microbials, low toxicity biochemicals, genetically altered microbials, and transgenic plants in their definition of a biopesticide in its research program guidelines. These regulatory definitions have helped to change the scientific literature and caused the term biopesticide to slowly become synonymous with biological control agent. Biofungicide is a more specific term than biopesticide. It refers to a biological agent that specifically controls fungi. This term can be used for fungi that cause diseases on plants or other fungi. Like the term biopesticide, biofungicide is slowly making its way into the literature.