Spanish researchers from the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA), Neus Teixidó, together with the staff of Postharvest pathology, has directed a task of the European project BIOCOMES with the goal of developing two biological control products to combat brown rot in stone fruits.
In a natural ecosystem, the plants are attacked constantly by all types of plagues and diseases such as insects, fungi and bacteria. The vegetables can survive thanks to the intervention of natural enemies to plagues and harmful pathogens. The natural enemies of the diseases that damage the plants take a long time to develop and at most times are not sufficient. The biological control consists in releasing more organisms of this type to combat the plagues and diseases that affect harvest.
IRTA investigations on the project BIOCOMES are centered on developing two biological products, the strains Bacillus amyloliquefaciens and Penicillium frequentans, as well as a control strategy based on stone fruits in Europe. The control of this disease is done mostly through the use of chemical products of synthesis. The tightening of the legislation and the growing demand from consumers toward healthier products and more respectful toward the environmental shows the necessity of an alternative in the treatment of plagues and diseases.
The results obtained by the researchers of IRTA determine that the two products of biological control studied achieve similar results to the ones of the chemical products in the treatment of brown rot in stone fruits. The effectiveness of these biological products has been proved in different European regions such as the cherry fields in Belgium, peach and nectarine in Italy, France, and Spain.
The last step necessary after this project consists of registration and implementation of these new products of biological control in the market. The results of the research make it easy for producers to use the new tools and they are advantageous to consumers, allowing them to follow legislative restrictions and ensure a response for the demand for the health and safety of products.