Submitted to: International Journal of Food Microbiology
Publication Type: Review article
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2013
Publication Date: 11/4/2013
Citation: Liu, J., Sui, Y., Wisniewski, M.E., Droby, S., Liu, Y. 2013. Utilization of antagonistic yeasts to control postharvest fungal diseases of fruits. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 167:153-160. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Postharvest decay fungi cause significant losses of fruit after harvest and some of these pathogenic fungi are the source of toxins harmful to human health. Biological control using antagonistic yeasts has developed as one of the most promising alternatives to the use of chemical fungicides for the management of postharvest diseases of fruits and vegetables. During the last two decades, an increasing number of antagonistic yeasts have been isolated from a variety of sources, including the fruit surface, plant phyllosphere, soil, and sea. Their efficacy as biocontrol agents for managing postharvest diseases has been extensively investigated. Several mechanisms have been suggested as the basis for their antagonistic activity, including competition for nutrients and space, parasitism of the pathogen, secretion of antifungal compounds, induction of host resistance, biofilm formation, and most recently, the involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in signaling and as a defense response. Environmental factors influencing the performance of yeast biocontrol agents have also been investigated. The general aim of these latter studies has been to improve the efficacy of biocontrol agents by enhancing their tolerance to abiotic stresses, such as heat and oxidative stress. Several formulated biocontrol products have been or are in the process of being commercialized. This review covers the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of postharvest fungal pathogens, the isolation of antagonists from fruit surfaces, the mode of action of yeast biocontrol agents, and the stress tolerance of yeast as it relates to biocontrol performance. The potential for commercializing yeasts as biocontrol agents is also discussed.