BioControl (2022) 67, 111-121

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Nicholas LeBlanc (2022)
Bacteria in the genus Streptomyces are effective biological control agents for management of fungal plant pathogens: a meta-analysis
BioControl 67 (1), 111-121
Abstract: Plant diseases caused by fungal plant pathogens are a significant constraint on the global production of horticultural and agronomic crops. Synthetic chemical fungicides are an important tool for managing these diseases but have negative impacts on the environment and are incompatible with organic agriculture. Application of bacteria in the genus Streptomyces Waksman and Henrici 1943 (Approved Lists 1980) as biological control agents is an alternative disease management strategy that has reduced environmental impacts and is compatible with organic agriculture. The goal of this study was to conduct a meta-analysis to test if Streptomyces biological control agents reduce disease caused by fungal plant pathogens and identify factors that alter biological control efficacy of these bacteria. Data were compiled from 160 studies representing 44 publications that tested the effect of Streptomyces on diseases caused by fungal plant pathogens of agronomic and horticultural crops. Overall, Streptomyces biological control agents significantly reduced disease by 56% compared to negative control groups. Additional analyses showed Streptomyces reduced disease caused by soilborne pathogens marginally more than disease from foliar pathogens. Biological control efficacy increased under controlled environments and when Streptomyces bacteria were applied under high disease pressure. Among different fungal pathogens and hosts, Streptomyces were most effective at controlling the soilborne pathogen Fusarium oxysporum Schltdl. and diseases of Solanum lycopersicum L. These results confirm Streptomyces reduce disease caused by fungal plant pathogens and provide novel insight into ways biological control efficacy can be further optimized by considering the production environment and pathogen-host combinations.
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