Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection

, Volume 125, Issue 2, pp 121–125 | Cite as

Biocontrol of plant diseases is not an unsafe technology!

  • Eckhard KochEmail author
  • J. Ole Becker
  • Gabriele Berg
  • Rüdiger Hauschild
  • Johannes Jehle
  • Jürgen Köhl
  • Kornelia Smalla


In their opinion paper "The unpredictable risk imposed by microbial secondary metabolites: how safe is biological control of plant diseases?" (J. Plant Dis. Prot. 124, 413-419;, H.B. Deising, I. Gase and Y. Kubo criticize the use of microbial pesticides in plant protection. They point to the ability of microorganisms to form toxic metabolites and fear severe health problems when antagonistic microorganisms are increasingly released into agro-ecosystems. In our opinion, this view fails to reflect the reality because it largely ignores the ecology of microorganisms. In this contribution, we state reasons why biocontrol of plant diseases is a safe technology.


Biocontrol Safety Registration Metabolites 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Phytomedizinische Gesellschaft 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eckhard Koch
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Ole Becker
    • 2
  • Gabriele Berg
    • 3
  • Rüdiger Hauschild
    • 4
  • Johannes Jehle
    • 1
  • Jürgen Köhl
    • 5
  • Kornelia Smalla
    • 6
  1. 1.Institute for Biological ControlJulius Kühn-Institute (JKI)DarmstadtGermany
  2. 2.Department of NematologyUniversity of California, RiversideRiversideUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Environmental BiotechnologyGraz University of TechnologyGrazAustria
  4. 4.GAB Consulting GmbHStadeGermany
  5. 5.Biointeractions and Plant HealthWageningen Plant ResearchWageningenThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Institute for Epidemiology and Pathogen DiagnosticsJulius Kühn-Institute (JKI)BraunschweigGermany

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