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Int J Food Microbiol. 2004 Mar 1;91(2):185-94.

State of the art and future prospects of the biological control of postharvest fruit diseases.

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Di.Va.P.R.A.-Plant Pathology, University of Torino, Via L. da Vinci 44, 10095 Grugliasco, Italy.


Synthetic fungicides are the primary means to control postharvest diseases of fruits. Biological control has emerged as one of the most promising alternatives to chemicals. During the last 20 years, several biological control agents have been widely investigated for use on different pathogens and fruit crops. Many biological control mechanisms have been suggested for use on fruit including antibiosis, parasitism, induced resistance in the host tissue and competition. With the aim of extending the use of the biofungicides, there have been many studies on the application of various combinations of control agents, and on the application integrated with chemical and physical means of protection. The formulation and application methods are key issues for the efficacy and successful outcome of the commercial product. Genetic engineering may provide a useful tool in the enhancement of the biological control efficacy. Since biofungicides are usually not as effective as pesticides, this approach should be viewed as an important component of an integrated disease management scheme given that a significant and permanent reduction of pesticide use is our goal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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