, Volume 133, Issue 1, pp 181-196

Biological control of postharvest diseases of fruit

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Abstract

Postharvest decay in harvested fruit causes considerable economical losses. Fungicides are the primary means to control these losses. Public concern in food safety and environmental issues and the increase of pathogen resistant populations have enhanced the interest in developing alternative methods to fungicides to control postharvest fruit decay. During the last two decades a huge information and advances concerning the selection of antagonists, mode of action, different approaches to enhance biocontrol activity, formulation and production have been achieved, and some biofungicides are already in the market. It is likely that several more products will enter the market in the near future, as the result of the biological control research programs worldwide. Nonetheless, it is necessary to continue finding new potential microorganisms, better understanding the mode of action, and pathogen, antagonist and host interactions, to increase the potential of biocontrol helping to become a real alternative to synthetic postharvest fungicides. This article presents an overview of postharvest biological control approaches and explores new research possibilities to improve biocontrol activity.