Submitted to: Postharvest Biology and Technology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2008
Publication Date: 3/9/2009
Citation: Droby, S., Wisniewski, M.E., Macarisin, D., Wilson, C. 2009. Twenty years of postharvest biocontrol research: Is it time for a new paradigm?. Postharvest Biology and Technology. 52:137-145. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The use of biocontrol agents as an alternative to the synthetic, chemical fungicides that are presently used to control postharvest pathogens has many constraints and obstacles that make it difficult to implement their use as a practical control strategy. Over the last twenty years postharvest biocontrol research has evolved toward being more integrated into a production systems approach and more aware of industry’s concerns. More research, however, is needed in many aspects of the science and technology of postharvest biocontrol and in integrating biocontrol agents into combined pre- and postharvest production and handling systems. Better understanding of: mode of action of postharvest biocontrol agents, relationship between infection levels occurring the field and development of postharvest decay along with basic information on microbial ecology and survival mechanisms of biocontrol agents on fruit surfaces is critical for the advancement of successful implementation of postharvest biocontrol technology. The past twenty years of postharvest biocontrol research has seen tremendous advances and the creation of several products. Nonetheless, numerous challenges and opportunities still exist as this field of research matures. This review is an attempt to examine the field of postharvest biocontrol as it has developed over the past twenty years, define the reasons that have limited its commercialization, and identify areas of research that need to be addressed if the potential of postharvest biocontrol is to be achieved. We have also introduced a new paradigm for biocontrol research that may provide a host of new opportunities for increasing the efficacy and consistency of biocontrol products.