Pest Management

  • P. Parvatha Reddy


Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are indigenous to soil and the plant rhizosphere and play a major role in the biocontrol of plant pathogens. They can suppress a broad spectrum of bacterial and fungal diseases. PGPR can also provide protection against viral diseases. The use of PGPR has become a common practice in many regions of the world. Although significant control of plant pathogens has been demonstrated by PGPR in laboratory and greenhouse studies, results in the field have been inconsistent. Recent progress in our understanding of their diversity, colonizing ability and mechanism of action, formulation and application should facilitate their development as reliable biocontrol agents against plant pathogens. Some of these rhizobacteria may also be used in integrated pest management programmes. Greater application of PGPR is possible in agriculture for biocontrol of plant pathogens. PGPR belonging to Bacillus spp. and Pseudomonas spp. are being exploited commercially for plant protection to manage various diseases. Mixtures of different PGPR strains have resulted in increased efficacy against several pathogens attacking the same crop.

PGPR are beneficial bacteria that colonize the rhizosphere and plant roots resulting in the enhancement of plant growth and protection against certain plant nematodes. The PGPR-nematode interactions have been extensively studied with the aim to manage plant-parasitic nematodes. These studies involve the selection of bacteria that can be used as biocontrol agents against nematodes. The genera involved include Agrobacterium, Alcaligenes, Bacillus, Clostridium, Desulfovibrio, Pseudomonas, Serratia and Streptomyces. PGPR also induce systemic resistance against nematode pests.

Reports on PGPR-mediated ISR against insects are restricted to very few crops. Generally, fluorescent pseudomonads influence the growth and development of insects at all stages of their growth. PGPR such as Pseudomonas putida, P. fluorescens, Bacillus subtilis, B. pumilus, Streptomyces marcescens and Flavimonas oryzihabitans are involved in the biocontrol of the striped cucumber beetle, Acalymma vittatum; the spotted cucumber beetle, Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi; and tomato whitefly.

It is likely that most of naturally occurring biological control results from mixtures of antagonists rather than from high populations of a single antagonist. Several research outcomes on formulations explain that a single biocontrol agent has the ability to combat a plant pathogen. But, usage of single biocontrol agent in disease management might be also responsible for its inconsistent performance under field conditions. Advantages of strain mixtures include broad spectrum of action, enhanced efficacy and reliability and also allow the combination of various traits. Studies on combinations of biocontrol agents for plant disease control have included mixtures of PGPR and mixtures of fungi and PGPR.


Biocontrol Agent Fusarium Wilt Plant Growth Promotion Systemic Resistance Angular Leaf Spot 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Parvatha Reddy
    • 1
  1. 1.Indian Institute of Horticultural ResearchBangaloreIndia

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