Submitted to: Annual Review of Phytopathology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 25, 2005
Publication Date: May 5, 2005
Citation: Fravel, D.R. 2005. Commercialization and implementation of biological control. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol. doi: 10.1146/annurev.phyto.43.032904.092924.
Interpretive Summary: The use of beneficial microbes to control plant diseases is called biocontrol. This article reviews the literature on commercialization and implementation biocontrol. There are currently 26 bacterial and fungi registered with the Environmental Protection Agency that can be sold as biocontrol agents against plant disease. The series of events from how these organisms were discovered, grown in great quantity, formulated, and applied is discussed. In addition to discovery of new biocontrol agents, recent literature emphasizes detailed studies on the ecology and mechanisms of biocontrol agents, multi-year and multi-location field studies, combining biocontrol agents with each other, with reduced rates of chemical pesticides, in rotation with chemical pesticides, timing of application, and safety of biocontrol agents. This information will be used by scientists developing new biocontrol agents.
The end goal of biocontrol research is to provide additional tools for disease management. To place these tools in the growers' hands, products must be commercialized. This article discusses the process of commercialization, commercial products in the United States, and parameters encouraging and discouraging commercialization, as well as discussing implementation of biocontrol. Current trends in research include more emphasis on microenvironment, details of mechanisms, production and formulation, delivery, extensive field testing, and combining biocontrol with other disease management tools.