Use of Mutant Pathogen Strains

Little work has been done on the use of pathogens for biological control. Mutant or attenuated plant pathogens could be used to induce disease resistance or to compete against wild pathogen populations on the host. One promising avenue for the control of aflatoxin production in grain, nuts, and dry fruit involves the use of Aspergillus flavus strains that cannot produce toxins [28,29]. These strains are applied in the field, where they compete and help suppress the wild populations of Aspergillus spp. While we know that localized inoculation with Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Botrytis cinerea can induce systemic disease resistance in cold-stored carrot [30,31], to our knowledge, there has been no study on the use of attenuated pathogens for decay control in fresh fruits and vegetables.

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