Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Abstract Different screening methods for selection of biological control agents (BCAs), for controlling soil and seed-borne diseases, are discussed. The shortcomings of laboratory methods focused on mechanism of action are discussed and we conclude that these methods should be used with caution if candidates with multifactorial or plant mediated mechanisms of control are to be obtained. In vitro screens may be useful for specific groups of microorganisms, thus, screens for antibiotics may be relevant for Streptomyces spp., and promising results have been obtained using soil plating or precolonized agar methods to screen for mycoparasitism and competitive saprophytic ability. Experience with screening in the Nordic programme ‘Biological control of seed borne diseases in cereals’ is summarized. Research in the four participating countries – Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark – followed the same paradigm: that of obtaining antagonists, well adapted to different Nordic environments, and developing them as effective BCAs. Potential antagonists were isolated from different sources and in planta screening methods were developed in order to optimize selection of antagonists effective against a range of seed borne pathogens. Screens in the laboratory or greenhouse were followed by screening in the field. The different screening procedures are compared and evaluated.
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