You are on page 1of 8

Biological control The Plant Disease Triangle

Joyce E. Loper
Research Plant Pathologist, USDA-Agricultural

en
og
Research Service

Ho
th

st
Pa
Professor (courtesy), Department of Botany and
Plant Pathology
loperj@science.oregonstate.edu
Environment
738-4057
Take home message: Microorganisms, whether indigenous
or introduced are an important component of the environment.

Biological control
Biological control gained strength as a
Reduction of the amount of inoculum subdiscipline of Plant Pathology in the
or disease-producing activity of a 1960s, when a group of scientists
pathogen accomplished by or recognized that epidemics of soilborne
through one or more organisms plant diseases could not be understood
other than humans. without considering the the ecology of
soil fungi and Oomycetes and the
resident soil microflora.

Biological Control of Plant Diseases Biological Control of Plant Diseases

Not just a bug in a bag!

1
Kinds of Biological Control Suppressive Soils

• Conservation-
Conservation- cultural practices
Suppressive soils
• The pathogen does not establish or
General suppression
Specific suppression: Take-
Take-all decline
persist
• Classical – self sustaining following a single release of a “natural enemy” • The pathogen establishes but causes
• Augmentative – periodic introduction to supplement natural reproduction
Chestnut Blight and hypovirulence
little or no disease
• Innudative – mass introduction of biocontrol agent
Crown gall
Fire blight
Postharvest diseases

Take all of wheat caused by Gaeumannomyces graminis var tritici


General Suppression
Disease severity

field soil
sterilized soil

Propagule level
A fixed level of the pathogen causes less disease
in the presence of indigenous soil organisms.

Take-all decline with monoculture


of wheat

Disease
severity

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Years of Monoculture

2
Pseudomonas fluorescens produces an
antibiotic that is toxic to the take-all pathogen

Wheat seed treatment with Pseudomonas


The antibiotic
fluorescens for control of take-all
2-4-diacetylphloroglucinol
is toxic to the take-all pathogen

O OH O

H 3C CH 3

HO OH
No seed treatment Seed treatment with P.f.
Seed treatment with mutant that
does not produce an antibiotic

3
Borneman and Becker evaluated the
Microorganisms associated with cysts
in suppressive and conducive soils

Kinds of Biological Control


• Conservation-
Conservation- cultural practices
Suppressive soils
General suppression
Specific suppression

Chestnut Blight • Classical


enemy”
– self sustaining following a single release of a “natural

and hypovirulence
• Augmentative – periodic introduction to supplement natural
reproduction
Innudative – mass introduction of biocontrol agent
Crown gall
Fire blight
Postharvest diseases

Biological control with Introduced


Antagonists

Biological control agent:


Hypovirulent isolates of Cryphonectria
parasitica
Disease: Chestnut Blight
Pathogen: Cryphonectria parasitica
Mechanism: hypovirulence

4
History of the Chestnut Blight
Pathogen in the United States

Transmission of hypovirulence decreases with diversity


of vegetative compatibility groups in the pathogen population

5
Kinds of Biological Control Biological control with Introduced
Antagonists
• Conservation-
Conservation- cultural practices
Suppressive soils
General suppression
Specific suppression
• Classical – self sustaining following a single release of a “natural enemy” Biological control agent:
• Augmentative – periodic introduction to supplement natural reproduction
Chestnut Blight and hypovirulence
Agrobacterium radiobacter
• Innudative – mass introduction of biocontrol agent Disease: Crown gall
Crown gall Pathogen: Agrobacterium tumefaciens
Fire blight
Postharvest diseases
Mechanism: antibiosis

Crown gall caused by


Why is
Agrobacterium tumefaciens inundative
biological
control of
crown gall so
successful?

Short period of
Susceptibility:
Wound typically
heals over after
about 24 hours and
is no longer an opening
for infection

Why is inundative biological


control of crown gall
so successful?
In nurseries growing
woody perennials,
wounds are induced
by root pruning. These can be
treated with the biocontrol
agent immediately

Treated with K84 Untreated

6
Why does biological control of crown gall
work so well???
Kinds of Biological Control
•Limited time of host susceptibility to disease
This means the biocontrol agent doesn’t
• Conservation-
Conservation-
have to persist for a long time in the Suppressive soils
environment General suppression
•The infection court is defined and easily treated Specific suppression
• Classical – self sustaining following a single release of a “natural enemy”
This means the biocontrol agent can be
applied directly to the infection court, and doesn’t • Augmentative – periodic introduction to supplement natural reproduction
Have to move there on its own Chestnut Blight and hypovirulence
•There are no chemical controls available • Innudative – mass introduction of biocontrol agent
•The sensitivity of the pathogen population can be predicted Crown gall
For example, strains pathogenic to cherry are Fire blight
sensitive to agrocin 84, whereas strains pathogenic Postharvest diseases
to apple are not uniformly sensitive.

untreated

Decay management product


for
• Citrus
• Stone fruits
Bio-Save
• Pome fruits
• Potatoes
a.i.:
a.i.: Pseudomonas syringae
- ESC-
ESC-10: EcoScience strain
- ESC-
ESC-11: USDA strain

Why Postharvest Chlorine bath or spray


Biocontrol?
bin dump

• Market need:
need: chlorine spray

– few labeled chemicals


– fungicide resistance problem

• System characteristics

7
Clean Rinse or Fungicide Spray Wax application

fungicide in wax

Usage History of Bio-


Bio-Save by Crop
Bio-
Bio-Save Application
5,000,000 10,000,000

4,000,000 8,000,000

Cartons
Cartons

3,000,000 6,000,000

2,000,000 4,000,000

1,000,000
Citrus 2,000,000
Pear and Apple
0 0
4,000,000
8,000,000
Cherry Potato
3,000,000

Sacks
6,000,000
Lugs

2,000,000
4,000,000

2,000,000 1,000,000

0 0
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

The Plant Disease Triangle


en
og

Ho
th
Pa

st

Environment

Take home message: Microorganisms, whether indigenous


or introduced are an important component of the environment.