Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 9, 2008
Publication Date: March 21, 2011
Citation: Schisler, D.A., Janisiewicz, W.J., Boekhout, T., Kurtzman, C.P. 2011. Agriculturally important yeasts: Biological control of field and postharvest diseases using yeast antagonists, and yeasts as pathogens of plants. In: Kurtzman, C.P., Fell, J.W., Boekhout, T., editors. The Yeasts, a Taxonomic Study. Vol. 1, 5th Edition. London, England: Elsevier. p. 45-52. Technical Abstract: Two important agricultural aspects of yeasts, control of plant diseases through application of yeasts as the control agent, and yeasts that are plant pathogens are reviewed. Yeasts as biocontrol organisms are presented first, followed by a discussion of some of the more common plant pathogenic yeasts. In discussing the biological control of plant disease, it is convenient to divide biotic diseases of plants into those in which the pathogen predominantly gains entrance to the plant via its underground parts versus those that infect aerial tissues of the plant. Research on the biological control of plant diseases in the field using yeasts or yeast-like fungi has concentrated on diseases of above ground parts of plants as does this review. These studies, in turn, are categorized and reviewed regarding whether yeasts were utilized to reduce plant disease in the field, applied in the field in an effort to reduce post harvest diseases, or applied after harvest to reduce post harvest diseases. Mechanisms of biological control found in yeasts are briefly reviewed as are studies designed to preserve the viability of these yeasts. Plant pathogenic yeasts are found among both the ascomycetes and the basidiomycetes, and examples from each of these groups are presented.