Combining biological control with physical and chemical treatments to control fruit decay after harvest

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Purpose of review: This article reviews research on combining biological control with alternatives to conventional fungicide treatment in order to reduce postharvest decay on fruits. The basis for selection of the alternative treatments, the effectiveness of the combined treatments, and the feasibility and readiness of their implementation are discussed.

Findings: Biological control can be easily combined with a variety of other alternative treatments, some of which result in an additive or even synergistic effect in improving control of fruit decay. The effectiveness of the combined treatments was often comparable with conventional fungicide treatments. The combinations were often complementary; the alternative treatments provided an eradicative effect that was short lived while biocontrol had a long lasting effect on protecting the wounds.

Directions for future research: More large scale trials are needed to prove the feasibility of combining these treatments. The cost analysis of these treatments is also needed in order to determine the practicality of their implementation. To increase the spectrum of pathogens which can be successfully controlled, research is needed to address other host/pathogen interactions, especially latent infections of fruits.

Wojciech J Janisiewicz
William S Conway
Stewart Postharvest Review