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Trees
Vol.
26, No. xx, 2012; Pages: 215 - 226

Prospects and limitations of microbial pesticides for control of bacterial and fungal pomefruit tree diseases

A. Bonaterra, E. Badosa, J. Cabrefiga, J. France´s, E. Montesinos

Institute of Food and Agricultural Technology-XaRTACIDSAV, University of Girona, Campus Montilivi s/n, 17071 Girona, Spain.

Abstract

The tree constitutes an ecosystem in which microorganisms play an essential role in its functionality. Interactions that microorganisms establish with plants may be beneficial or detrimental and are of extreme importance in the exploitation of trees in agriculture as crop production systems. Fruit trees, especially pomefruit trees including apple, pear and several ornamentals are of great economic importance but its production is affected by several diseases. Fungal and bacterial fruit tree diseases are mainly controlled with chemical fungicides and bactericides, but health and environmental concerns about the use of chemical pesticides have result in strong regulatory actions and have stimulated the development of beneficial microorganisms as microbial pesticides. Up to now, several microorganisms have been registered in different countries and in the EU as biocontrol agents (BCA) covering mainly fire blight, soil-borne fungal diseases and postharvest fruit fungal rot. The key aspects in the success of this technology for disease control are related to biosafety and environmental impact of biocontrol agents, the traceability and fate in the environment and food chain, the improvement by physiological, genetic engineering or the use of mixtures or formulations as well as the industrial production and development of delivery systems for treatment application to trees.

Keywords: Microbial pesticides; Biosafety; Environmental impact; Physiological improvement; Genetic engineering; Formulation; Delivery


 

 

 
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