BIOLOGICAL MANAGEMENT OF PLANT DISEASES: HIGHLIGHTS ON RESEARCH AND APPLICATION
E.C. Tjamos, S.E. Tjamos, P.P. Antoniou
An updated short account is given of the nature and practice of biological control. It includes data on key mechanisms of biocontrol agents (bca’s) being studied, relationships between bca’s and plants being investigated and commercialization prospects in modern world agriculture. Based on the voluminous literature on biological control research and application, successful cases are selected and directions that might lead to the development of more effective bca’s against plant diseases are discussed. The broad adoptions of organic farming as an additional agricultural practice to conventional agriculture and IPM have both increased research and application of bca’s already commercially available. However, extensive applications require further developments and greater understanding of the complex interactions among plants, bca’s and the environment. Additionally fast and more efficient procedures compared to fungicide registration approaches will facilitate bca’s commercial application.