Submitted to: Biological Control of Major Crop Plant Diseases
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 9, 2003
Publication Date: January 1, 2004
Citation: Burelle, N.K. Biological control of tomato diseases. 2003. In: Biological Control of Major Crop Plant Diseases. Ed: S. Gnanimanickum. Marcel Decker, Inc. p. 225-262. Technical Abstract: Pressure to reduce dependence on chemicals to protect crops from pests combined with increased regulation of pesticide registration has necessitated the development of biological methods for pest management. It is important to employ integrated pest management (IPM) programs in high-value crops such as tomato, where reduced efficacy of chemicals and increased regulations have reduced pest control options. This chapter provides a review of plant disease management tactics for tomato which are not reliant on chemicals, as well as information on biological control strategies or agents when available. Integrated pest management programs for tomato include use of host resistance, pathogen exclusion, eradication and protection. Use of biological control agents for pathogens also has potential for success, provided informed decisions are made regarding optimization of growing conditions and cultural practices are utilized to reduce disease incidence. A greater understanding of the interaction between biocontrol agents, pathogens, environmental conditions, and host plants is imperative if successful strategies are to be developed to limit disease incidence without the use of chemicals. This information is necessary to improve performance of biocontrol agents by lessening their chances of failure due to application during conditions unfavorable to their growth or under extremely high pathogen pressure that could be reduced by cultural practices. Successful use of biological control will require growers to adjust current crop management practices. The integration of biological control practices into multifaceted management programs will require knowledge based decisions by growers regarding ecological principals.