Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 17, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: This book chapter is an overview of our knowledge regarding biological control of fungal plant diseases, with emphasis on the control of soilborne plant pathogenic fungi. Topics covered include approaches to biological control and critical research areas for effective biological control. This information is required for ongoing research efforts as well as for practical application of biological control products. This information will be useful to scientists.
Biological control of fungal diseases constitutes a very broad category of control, consisting of a wide variety of different organisms, mechanisms, interactions, and processes. Biological control has enormous potential to supplement and complement existing disease control strategies. However, biological control also has very different properties, requirements, and constraints than previous conventional controls and needs to be properly implemented and integrated with current production strategies. Biocontrol may function through competition, antibiosis, parasitism, induced resistance, and a combination of mechanisms. These various mechanisms may control disease through the reduction or inhibition of the pathogen inoculum, protection of the infection court, or by limiting disease development after pathogen infection. Each organism, mechanism, and activity has different traits, conditions, and requirements associated with hit that are essential to biocontrol activity. Overall, the more we know about the specific mechanisms, traits, interactions, and requirements of biological control agents, the better we can establish strategies to optimize biocontrol for that pathosystem. This book chapter highlights the above topics as well as critical areas of research in the field of biological control.