Submitted to: International Symposium on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 11, 2004
Publication Date: September 1, 2004
Citation: Janisiewicz, W.J. Strategies for the use and enhancement of biological control of postharvest fruit decays. International Symposium on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits. September 12-17, 2004. Fortaleza, Brazil. Abstracts p. 29. Technical Abstract: Biological control of postharvest decays (BCPD) has been used commercially on pome and citrus fruits since 1996 in the United States and its use was later expanded to include cherries and seed potatoes. The spectrum of control activity of these products differs with respect to fruit type and maturity, stage of pathogen infection, and specific pathogen causing decay, and is not as broad as fungicides. Thus, commercial use of BCPD has been targeted for certain commodities and may even be limited to certain postharvest applications within a commodity. Unlike fungicides, currently registered biocontrol products are exempt from residue tolerance and can be used well into storage, even to the point of packing fruit for shipment. To address the limitations of currently used biocontrol products, recent research has focused on improving biocontrol itself and/or combining BCPD with other alternative methods to synthetic fungicides. The efficacy of BCPD has been improved by developing antagonist mixtures that are superior to individual antagonists alone, by manipulation of antagonist physiology during growth, and by preparation and rehydration of dry formulations of antagonists. The mechanisms of BCPD have been studied more extensively in recent years, but, so far have not yet resulted in improved biocontrol by manipulation of biocontrol agents. The potential of foreign antimicrobial genes introduced into antagonists is also being explored. Greater efficacy and broader spectrum of postharvest decay control on fruit was achieved by combining BCPD with heat treatment, substances generally regarded as safe (GRAS), lytic enzymes, or the induction of resistance in fruit by physical or chemical means.