Microbial formulation approaches in postharvest disease management
Madhuree Kumari1,2,3, Siya Kamat1, Ritu Dixit2,4, Shipra Pandey2,3, Ved Prakash Giri2,4, Aradhana Mishra2,3
Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India.
Postharvest diseases possess a potential threat toward harvested crops, vegetables, and fruits during their transportation from field to farm, handling, and storage. Biological conditions prevalent in the storage of grains provide suitable moisture and pH to the pathogenic fungi and bacteria to grow and spoil the harvested crops. Synthetic chemical pesticides are used commonly for postharvest disease management. However, increasing multidrug resistance, changing global climate, and an urgent need for an eco-friendly approach have given rise to the use of microbial formulations to control postharvest diseases. Biotic stress-tolerant microbes, their formulations or the active ingredients obtained from them have shown potential antagonistic behavior toward postharvest pathogens. The multifaceted mechanisms including mycoparasitism, antibiosis, competition for iron and nutrients, secretion of antimicrobial compounds, and induction of induced systemic resistance in crops provide them an edge over their chemical counterparts. Biocontrol products such as Aspire, BioSave, and Shemer are some of the successful examples of microbial formulations for postharvest disease management. Though the results shown by microbial formulations are encouraging, their efficacy, mode of application, and mechanism need to be investigated in detail. The hurdles encountered during their upscale production also need to be addressed. Amalgamation of innovative technologies with microbial formulation can assure the commercialization and successful management of postharvest disease in an environment-friendly manner.
Keywords: Pathogen, postharvest diseases, formulations, mechanism, commercial production.