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Biological Control of Crop Diseases

Biological Control of Crop Diseases
Samuel S. Gnanamanickam (editor)
Marcel Dekker
Publication Date: 

cloth, 468 p., $175

Biological Control of Crop Diseases is a recent addition to the series Books in Soils, Plants, and the Environment. Its nineteen chapters are written by researchers in plant pathology, botany, crop science, microbiology and related fields. The book includes chapters on the biological control of diseases in rice, wheat, cotton, tobacco, peanuts, sugarcane, potatos, soybeans, tomatos, apples, citrus fruits and turfgrass. Some chapters also provide a general overview of biocontrol. These include Principles of Biological Control, Implementation of Biological Control of Plant Diseases in Integrated Pest Management Systems, Biocontrol Agents in Signaling Resistance, Comprehensive Testing of Biocontrol Agents, Formulation of Biological Control Agents for Pest and Disease Management, and a summary discussing future trends in biocontrol.

The generally accepted definition of biocontrol once focused on the control of disease or pests by microorganisms or other naturally occurring competitors and predators, other than man. However, in recent years advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have required a broadening of the definition. The editor has accommodated the changes by including a chapter on resistance to disease obtained by the production of transgenic plants, using rice as a case study (Chapter 3) and also one on induced systemic resistance (Chapter 16), in addition to those chapters about biocontrol by microbial and other naturally occurring antagonists.

The content of the book is of a technical nature, predominantly of interest to plant pathologists, crop scientists, microbiologists, horticulturalists and others involved in crop production or research. However, it illuminates the fascinating and sometimes controversial area of research and therefore might be of interest to readers outside biological science and agriculture, particularly if they have some background knowledge of biology and related sciences. Many chapters contain tables of research observations or information pertinent to biocontrol, and some contain illustrations. Each chapter has bibliographic references, and there is an index at the end of the publication.

—Jennifer Kiernan, plant pathologist and library volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden