Introduction

and YieldPlus (Cryptococcus albidus) in South Africa, biological control has become a new tool for managing storage diseases, which until recently were only controlled by chemical and cultural means. With the large volume of recent publications on this subject from several on-going research programs, it is possible that more products will be submitted to regulatory agencies and commercialized in the future. The needs for alternatives to chemical control have in a large part been responsible for this effort. Not only is there demand for more organic or "chemical-free" produce, but also many countries have lowered the residue tolerance for many chemical pesticides, putting pressure on exporters to have low residues on the fruit they ship abroad. Furthermore, risk assessments for fungicides make postharvest applications less attractive for pesticide companies, as this might cause them to limit the amounts that can be sold in larger, more profitable markets, such as field crops. Finally, with the prevalence of fungicide resistance in certain pathogen populations [1], biofungicides can be used to manage such resistance and help extend the commercial life of some chemical products. This chapter provides an overview of the different uses of biocontrol agents for the management of postharvest decay, discussing their possibilities and limitations, as well as possible modes of action.

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