Submitted to: Biocontrol Science and Technology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: March 12, 2002
Publication Date: June 1, 2002
Citation: VANDENBERG, J.D. FUNGI AS BIOCONTROL AGENTS PROGRESS, PROBLEMS AND POTENTIAL. BIOCONTROL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. 2002. v. 12. p. 522-523.
Although this book lacks key chapters on the biology of some fungi used for plant disease control, the editors and chapter authors effectively delineate the sometimes daunting challenges facing proponents of the use of fungal biocontrol agents. These challenges range from technical to agronomic, economic and political. It remains the case that farmers often simply cannot afford biopesticides when, in an ideal world, it should be easy for growers to choose pest control options that are at once efficacious, economically feasible, environmentally benign and potentially sustainable. Despite some particular successes, the number of money-making products remains few. A favorable political and economic climate necessary for enacting regulatory changes and tapping sources of venture capital will go a long way toward renewing and expanding interest in undertaking the work required to develop new fungal products and expand markets for existing ones. In short, the editors achieve the breadth for which they strive in this book but fall short of presenting a balanced treatment of key components of this topic. Nevertheless, the book should find itself in a place of prominence on the shelves of researchers and practitioners in microbial control.