Losses from postharvest fruit diseases range from 1 to 20 percent in the United States, depending on the commodity. The application of fungicides to fruits after harvest to reduce decay has been increasingly curtailed by the development of pathogen resistance to many key fungicides, the lack of replacement fungicides, negative public perception regarding the safety of pesticides and consequent restrictions on fungicide use. Biological control of postharvest diseases (BCPD) has emerged as an effective alternative. Because wound-invading necrotrophic pathogens are vulnerable to biocontrol, antagonists can be applied directly to the targeted area (fruit wounds), and a single application using existing delivery systems (drenches, line sprayers, on-line dips) can significantly reduce fruit decays. The pioneering biocontrol products BioSave and Aspire were registered by EPA in 1995 for control of postharvest rots of pome and citrus fruit, respectively, and are commercially available. The limitations of these biocontrol products can be addressed by enhancing biocontrol through manipulation of the environment, using mixtures of beneficial organisms, physiological and genetic enhancement of the biocontrol mechanisms, manipulation of formulations, and integration of biocontrol with other alternative methods that alone do not provide adequate protection but in combination with biocontrol provide additive or synergistic effects.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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