Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Biological Control of Postharvest Diseases of Fruits and Vegetables: Current Achievements and Future Challenges

Authors
item Droby, S - ARO, VOLCANI CENTER
item Wisniewski, Michael
item El-Ghaouth, A - MICRO-FLO
item Wilson, Charles

Submitted to: Abstract of International Horticultural Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2002
Publication Date: June 21, 2002
Citation: DROBY, S., WISNIEWSKI, M.E., EL-GHAOUTH, A., WILSON, C.L. BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF POSTHARVEST DISEASES OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: CURRENT ACHIEVEMENTS AND FUTURE CHALLENGES. ABSTRACT OF INTERNATIONAL HORTICULTURAL CONGRESS. JUNE 2002.

Technical Abstract: World trends are moving towards reduced postharvest pesticide use on fresh fruits and vegetables. In response to this trend, several physical and biological approaches have been evaluated as safer alternatives to the use of chemical fungicides. In particular, the use of microbial antagonists for the control of postharvest diseases has been extensively investigated. Most of the reported antagonists, yeasts, bacteria, and filamentous fungi naturally occur on fruit or other plant surfaces. Currently, there are only two biological products registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for postharvest use. They are commercially available under the trade names, Aspire TM, and Biosave 110 and 111, and are recommended for the control of postharvest rots of both citrus and pome fruit. Additional microbial agents are being developed, some of which have reached the stage of semi-commercial. The implementation of biological control practices for postharvest diseases is lagging behind expectations partially because they confer only a protective effect and have difficulty controlling previously established infections. Recent attempts to overcome the variable performance of microbial antagonists have led to combining the use of antagonists with the application of sodium bicarbonate of chitosan. Initial results obtained by using various combinations of biological, chemical, and physical control methods have demonstrated the potential of this multifaceted approach as a viable alternative to synthetic fungicides. As we learn more about the mode of action of biocontrol agents, new approaches of combining complementary biological and physical approaches will emerge that will lead to additive and/or synergistic effects.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page