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Review article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Biological control of plant diseases - What has been achieved and what is the direction?

Collinge, David B.; Jensen, Dan Funck; Rabiey, Mojgan; Sarrocco, Sabrina; Shaw, Michael W.; Shaw, Richard H.


The global sustainability agenda is increasing the demand for reduction in inputs into agricultural production while maintaining profitable yield of quality products. Plant diseases are a major constraint for both yield and product quality, but often tools for their control are ineffective or lacking. Biological control using antagonistic microorganisms has long been a subject of research resulting in a wide range of products that are now available and marketed in specific territories around the world. These preparations are often niche products with narrow uses. The research effort is intense both to develop new biological control agents (BCAs) and to obtain knowledge of the mechanisms underlying biological disease control. The prospects for biological control are promising. As a minimum, BCAs supplement other sustainable disease management practices such as disease resistance, and present opportunities for controlling diseases for which other approaches are ineffective or unavailable. We can realistically expect increasing use of BCAs to control crop diseases in ways that will benefit the environment. This review paper arose from a webinar held by the British Society for Plant Pathology as part of the International Year of Plant Heath (IYPH2020), at which many of the 300 participants posed or discussed interesting questions. This review is based on that input and the panel members at the webinar are all included as co-authors in this review.


plant diseases; plant pathology; sustainable disease control; virus

Published in

Plant Pathology
2022, Volume: 71, number: 5, pages: 1024-1047
Publisher: WILEY

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Plant Protection Network

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)