Submitted to: Plant Health Progress
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/11/2011
Publication Date: 6/1/2007
Citation: Ables, C.Y., Rosskopf, E.N., Charudattan, R. 2007. Plant Pathogens at Work: Improving weed control efficacy. Online. Plant Health Progress doi: 10.1094/PHP-2007-0822-02-RV. Part 2. Improving Weed Control Efficacy . Plant Health Progress. Interpretive Summary: Traditionally, host-specific plant pathogens have been used for biological control. While it is still critically important that introduced agents that are to be used in the classical approach to biological control are highly host-specific, this specificity in the bioherbicide approach has been considered a limitation. Part 2 of this review examines research into increasing efficacy of biological control agents using both approaches. In addition, means by which bioherbicide activity has been expanded are discussed.
Technical Abstract: The development of plant pathogenic weed biological control agents can be approached using two strategies, termed the classical and biological approaches. The classical involves the search for pathogens in the native range of an invasive weed and its importation and release into the area of introduction. The bioherbicide approach utilizes indigenous pathogens that are applied using large numbers of infective propagules. Strategies for enhancing biological control efficacy are presented, including: formulation to reduce dew dependence; broadening the spectrum of weeds controlled through formulation, pathogen combinations and using pathogens with broad host range; combining biological agents with pesticides or other activators; combining bioherbicide application with crop competition and resistant hosts; combining the use of deleterious rhizobacteria and cover crops ; enhancing control through improved application and delivery systems; enhancing virulence through amino-acid excretion; and capitalizing on multi-trophic interactions for enhancing control efforts.