Relatively few microorganisms have been screened for postharvest use. AgraQuest (Davis, CA) screened over 20,000 microorganisms of diverse taxonomies for preharvest uses and found many microorganisms that equal or approach the efficacy of chemical pesticides. The same approach could be taken with screening for postharvest use.
There are many microorganisms that have a long shelf life due to hardy spores (bacillus, some actinomycetes, and some fungi). Efforts to date have focused largely on microorganisms wherein the living cells act as antagonists by competing with the plant pathogen, as opposed to microorganisms that work through other mechanisms such as antibiosis. Microorganisms are known to produce compounds that can disrupt the membranes of plant pathogens . By releasing these compounds, such microbes can be effective in tank mixes and perform more like chemical pesticides.
Was this article helpful?