Microbial Pest Control - Soils Plants and the Environment by Sushil K. Kethan



Bibliographic Information:
Title: Microbial Pest Control - Soils Plants and the Environment 
Editor: Sushil K. Kethan
Edition: Illustrated
Publisher: Marcel Dekker, Inc. Now (CRC Press)
Length: 321 pages
Size: 14.6 MB
Language: English



Growing concern for safetyo f human health and the environment has pushed the
regulatory process to screen and control toxicants at levels that are perceived
safe. There is growing worldwide regulatory effort to promote biologically
based pest control that includes botanicals, biochemicals and microbials. Among
these, microbial pest control agents as a group have seen rapid advances in
recent years. The discovery and development of new microbial control agents
and technologies capable of enhancing efficacy have been largely responsible
for this. Genetic improvements of microbials using both recombinant and nonrecombinant
methods and compatibility with other interventions have resulted in
a number of commercial products. The development and commercial availability
of natural epizootics of fungi and viruses have expanded these options. The idea
of using one microorganism against another, the predator versus the prey, offers
an environmentally compatible and intellectually appealing approach for the
control of plant diseases. Similarly, phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria have
shown promise in weed management. A synopsis of the literature on the current
uses of bacteria, viruses, and fungi as microbial control agents along with
insights on their potential are presented in this book.
Microbials are not envisaged to replace chemical pesticides on major
crops, such as cotton, corn, wheat and rice in the near future However,
microbials are viewed as a key component of integrated pest management (IPM)
programs, as supplements to chemical pesticides in combination or in
succession. Selectivity and minimal environmental impact of microbials are
desirable features for IPM programs. Also if they were used as direct
replacements of chemical pesticides, then eventually these agents would face
some of the same fate as the chemicals they replace, particularly with respect to
resistance. Nevertheless, exclusive use of biopesticides may have niche markets
on crops such as high-value fruits, nuts, vegetables and ornamentals. This is
either as a consequence of some regulatory action or for tapping a specific
activity unattainable through chemical pesticides.
There is a wealth of information on the state of the art and the level of
commercialization reached among microbials for pest control. However, most of
this is difficult to retrieve, being scattered in various discipline-based literature
and Internet-accessible databases. Information retrieval of this nature also
requires training in several specialized areas. The traditional chemical-based
pest control products industry has long years of experience in developing and
commercializing products for the plant protection market. However, the
industry’s technical pool, which consists of chemists and chemical engineers as
well as entomologists and plant pathologists, faces difficulties in accessing and
fully comprehending these new developments. On the other hand, the nascent
small biologically-based pest control industry has struggled in devising product
handling and commercialization strategies. These limitations may have
constrained the growth and commercialization of biologically-based pest control
agents. End-use based products integration has been in the offing within large
chemical companies by forming life sciences divisions. However, medium and
small chemical companies have been left out as they do not have the information
resources of large companies, and have often been at a loss to figure out their
areas of opportunity. There is an apparent need for a viable way for chemical
and other specialty professionals for gathering first-hand knowledge of
emerging microbial control systems and their potential.
My aim in writing this book was to bring together the latest advances in
the science and technology of microbial pest control and in the evolving field of
biopesticides. However this is not intended to be a comprehensive treatise. My
effort is to present state of art information to the non-specialist reader in a
manner the is easy and interesting. The approach is to facilitate understanding of
this complex subject across discipline boundaries. A glossary of technical terms
has also been prepared with this conslderation. To aid rapid understanding of the
material, numerous figures, drawings and chemical equations have been used. I
hope these would also find use as teaching and presentation aids.
This book offers an overview of technologies that are driving the rapid
proliferation of microbial based pest control. It also provides coverage of
products that have reached the marketplace. Promising strategies for the
development of effective biological controls for plant and vector borne pests,
plant diseases and weed management are discussed by addressing many of the
critical issues. Several current topics such as genetically altered Bacillus
thuringiensis (Bt) and transgenic crops, microbial formulations and synergistic
interactions of microbials with synthetic chemicals have been documented.
Similarly, critical summaries on resistance management of Br foliar applications
and Br genes in transgenic crops have been provided. Current states of
technologies of viral and fungal insecticides and bacterial and fungal
biofungicides and bioherbicides have been discussed. An analysis of related
technical, social and economic issues that govern the commercialization efforts
of bio-pesticides is also provided




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