The Nature and Practice of Biological Control of Plant Pathogens

R J Cook and K F Baker 
APS Press  1983  

Hardcover  539 pages, 70 illustrations  ISBN 0890540535      £63.00
This book examines the broad subject of biological control of plant pathogens in a unified framework of concepts and principles. Among the principal themes is the fact that slight changes in an environmental factor often produce striking effects in plant-microbe interactions. The table of contents is as follows:

Why Biological Control?

  • Biological Control Answers Many Agricultural Problems
  • Increasing Crop Production Within Existing Resources
  • Avoiding Development of Pathogen Resistance to Chemicals
  • Adopting Practices Compatible with Sustainable Agriculture
  • Biological Balance
  • Effects of Agriculture on Biological Balance
  • Historical Constraints on the Use of Biological Control with Antagonists
  • The Potential of Gene Manipulation

Developmental History of Biological Control of Plant Pathogens

  • Introduced Antagonists
  • Resident Antagonists
  • Mycoparasites
  • Suppressive Soils
  • Some Landmark Events of the Past Fifty Years
  • Conferences and Symposia on Biological Control

Components of Biological Control

  • Definition of Biological Control
  • The Pathogen as a Component of Biological Control
  • Antagonists as Components of Biological Control
  • The Host Plant as a Component of Biological Control
  • Role of the Abiotic Environment in Biological Control
  • Biological Control Related to Other Controls

Approaches to Biological Control

  • Biological Control of Inoculum
  • Biological Destruction of Dormant Propagules
  • Prevention of Inoculum Formation
  • Displacement of the Pathogen in Crop Residue
  • Manipulation of Factors Inherent in the Pathogen
  • Biological Protection Against Infection
  • Protection of Plant Material
  • Protection of Roots with Biological Seed Treatments
  • Biological Protection of Foliage and Flowers
  • Inoculation of Pruning Wounds with Antagonists
  • Cross Protection and Induced Resistance
  • Virus Control by Cross Protection
  • Control of Fungus Pathogens by Cross Protection
  • Use of Multilines and Variety Mixtures
  • Vesicular-Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi

The Pathogen in Biological Control

  • Food and Energy Management by Parasites During Parasitism
  • Preventing Accumulation of Excess Nutrients
  • Polluting the Infection Site or Lesion
  • Modifying the Physical Environment of the Host
  • Converting Food into New Propagules
  • Mycovirus Infections and Hypovirulence
  • Hypovirulence in Endothia parasitica and its Role in Biocontrol
  • Pathological Effects of Hypovirulence in Rhizoctonia solani
  • Hypovirulence in Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici
  • Maintenance and Defence in the Absence of a Suscept--The Bear Market After a Bull Market
  • Diversification as a Method of Resource Management
  • Saprophytic Survival
  • Survival as Dormant Propagules in Soil
  • Initiation and Maintenance of Growth in Response to a Suscept--The Beginning of a Bull Market After a Bear Market
  • Inoculation
  • Pathogen Response to the Host
  • Water Requirements of Pathogens

The Host and Biological Control

  • Plant Water Potentials
  • Plant Water Potentials for Pathogen Growth and for Biological Control with Antagonists
  • Influence of Plant Water Potentials on Resistance of Plants to Pathogens
  • Plant Temperature
  • Leaf Temperatures for Growth of Pathogens and for Biological Control by Antagonists
  • Influence of Plant Temperature on Resistance of Plants to Pathogens
  • Predisposition by Chilling Injury and Freezing
  • Oxygen in Plants and in the Root Zone
  • Mineral Nutrition and Ionic Balance
  • Nutritional Environment and Antagonistic Interactions Among Microorganisms on Plant Surfaces
  • Root Exudation, Dynamics of Root Growth, and Colonization of the Rhizophere and Rhizoplane
  • Exudation and Leaching from Aerial Parts
  • Colonization of Aerial Parts by Microorganisms
  • Debris as a Source of Nutrients on Aerial Parts of Plants
  • Protection of Leaves and Flowers by the Phylloplane Microbiota
  • Compartmentalization and Biological Control of Decay in Trees
  • The Active Role of the Host in Biological Control
  • Cell - Cell Communication Between Plants and Microorganisms
  • Cell Membrane Integrity as a Factor in Success of the Host-Pathogen Interaction
  • Host Defence by Physical or Chemical Containment of the Pathogen
  • Cross Protection and Induced Resistance
  • Direct Antagonism of the Pathogen by a Nonpathogen
  • Induced Resistance
  • Enhanced Host-Plant Resistance with Mycorrhizae

The Soil Ecosystem and Biological Control

  • Soil Water and Aeration as Factors in Biological Control
  • Some Basic Concepts
  • Water Potential Requirements for Growth, and the Relative Competitive Advantage of Microorganisms in Soil
  • Soil Water Content and Diffusion of Solutes
  • Water-Filled Pores and the Motility of Soil Microorganisms
  • Soil Aeration and Biological Control
  • The Microbial Biomass of Soil
  • Amounts and Methods of Measurement
  • Influence of Heat Treatments and Fumigation
  • Soil Fungistasis
  • Crop Residue Decomposition in Relation to Biological Control
  • Pathogen-Suppressive Soils
  • General and Specific Suppression
  • Soils Suppressive to Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici
  • Fusarium-Suppressive Soils
  • Phytophthora-Suppressive Soils
  • Pythium-Suppressive Soils
  • Biological Control of Rhizoctonia solani in Suppressive Soil

Introduction of Antagonists for Biological Control

  • Antagonists as Soil Treatments
  • Introduction of Hyperparasites
  • Introduction of Saprophytes for Colonization of Treated Soil
  • Antagonists Applied with the Planting Material
  • Biological Seed Treatments
  • Inoculation of Cuttings and Transplants
  • Postplanting Treatment with Antagonists
  • Postharvest Biological Control

Antagonistae Vitae

Agricultural Practices and Biological Control

  • Cropping System
  • Preplant Soil Treatments
  • Tillage
  • Organic Amendments
  • Flooding
  • Solar Heating of Soil
  • Fertilization and Adjustment of Soil pH
  • Methods and Date of Planting
  • Irrigation Practices
  • Modification of the Environment to Favor Antagonists
  • Alleviation of Predisposing Plant Water Stress
  • Selection of the Best Combination of Practices


  • Detection of Effective Antagonists
  • Unexploited Opportunities for Biological Control
  • Unusual Approaches to the Discovery of Biological Control
  • Biological Control in Less Developed Countries, and Some Lessons for the Agriculture of More Developed Countries
  • A Partner at the Feast
  • Expectations for Biological Control

Literature Cited


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American Phytopathological Society : Fusarium : agriculture & forestry : bacteriology : beneficial microorganisms : beneficials : biological control : crop protection : crops : disease control : ecology : genetics : herbicides : horticulture : integrated crop protection : mycology : mycorrhizae : nitrogen fixation : organic farming : plant genetics : plant nutrition : plant pathology : soil science : sustainable agriculture : virology : water science

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