Stepwise screening of microorganisms for commercial use in biological control of plant-pathogenic fungi and bacteria

The development of new biocontrol products against plant diseases requires screening of high numbers of candidate antagonists. Antagonists for commercial use have to fulfill many different requirements. Besides being active against the specific targeted plant pathogens they must be safe and cost-effective. Important criteria besides pathogenic efficacy are market size, ecological characteristics, production costs, safety, environmental risks, and possibilities for intellectual property protection. A stepwise screening program considering these very different aspects is proposed.

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