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Microbial Pest Control.

Microbial Pest Control
Sushil K. Khetan
New York: Marcel Dekker
Publication Date: 

cloth, 300 p., $150

With the rapid deployment of microbial pesticides and the increased use of bioengineering to create new, highly tolerant plants, there is a great need for an overview like this book on developments in agriculture and horticulture. The author of this book provides a careful analysis in the course of 11 chapters organized into three main sections. The first section treats bacterial insecticides such as Bacillus thuringiensis, better known in some circles as simply Bt. It also treats genetically modified Bt strains and targeted formulations of Bt. This section, which covers nearly half of the book, ends with a discussion of the development of Bt-resistant generations of insects. In this "biotech arms race," some 500 species of insects and mites have already created a resistance to new insecticides.

The second section of the book treats natural and biotech viral insecticides and biofungicides. Each chapter in this section examines the effectiveness and limits of various formulations of bioherbicides, mycoinsecticides, biofungicides and viral insecticides. The last and smallest section of this book looks at the integrated uses of biopesticides, as well as commercialization of a variety of products. The book ends with an ever-useful glossary and product directory. For anyone with an interest in modern pest control, this book will provide ample details on the current deployment of biological and biotech weapons in this never-ending war.

— Teresa (Terri) Guardi, Master Gardener and Volunteer, Plant Information Office, Chicago Botanic Garden