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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Biological Control of Plant Diseases: An Evolutionary and Eco-Economic Consideration

He, Dun-Chun; He, Meng-Han; Amalin, Divina M.; Liu, Wei; Alvindia, Dionisio G.; Zhan, Jiasui


Biological control is considered as a promising alternative to pesticide and plant resistance to manage plant diseases, but a better understanding of the interaction of its natural and societal functions is necessary for its endorsement. The introduction of biological control agents (BCAs) alters the interaction among plants, pathogens, and environments, leading to biological and physical cascades that influence pathogen fitness, plant health, and ecological function. These interrelationships generate a landscape of tradeoffs among natural and social functions of biological control, and a comprehensive evaluation of its benefits and costs across social and farmer perspectives is required to ensure the sustainable development and deployment of the approach. Consequently, there should be a shift of disease control philosophy from a single concept that only concerns crop productivity to a multifaceted concept concerning crop productivity, ecological function, social acceptability, and economical accessibility. To achieve these goals, attempts should make to develop "green " BCAs used dynamically and synthetically with other disease control approaches in an integrated disease management scheme, and evolutionary biologists should play an increasing role in formulating the strategies. Governments and the public should also play a role in the development and implementation of biological control strategies supporting positive externality.


pathogen evolution; sustainable plant disease management; ecological resilience; economic benefit; functional tradeoffs; social involvement; microbiome; plant immunity

Published in

2021, volume: 10, number: 10, article number: 1311
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

He, Dun-Chun
Fujian Jiangxia University
He, Meng-Han
Henan Agricultural University
Amalin, Divina M.
De La Salle University
Liu, Wei
Ningde Normal University
Alvindia, Dionisio G.
De La Salle University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers


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