Lokal: Undervisningshuset, Sal L
Docentföreläsning av Mukesh Dubey; Biocontrol of plant diseases- a sustainable alternative of using chemical pesticides
Plant diseases causing severe yield losses all over the world need to be controlled to fulfil the growing need for higher food and feed productions of high quality. The application of synthetic chemical pesticides have had an important role in plant diseases control in addition to other control measures like disease resistance breeding and crop management. Climate change-induced biotic and abiotic stresses in near future may result in increased plant disease problems that may lead to an increased dependence on chemical pesticides in crop production.
Although, chemical pesticides are effective in controlling many plant diseases, their excessive use has led to severe problems for example pesticides contamination in food and feed, development of pesticides resistance in targeted and non-targeted organisms, and environmental problems. Thus, there is a need for developing new and more sustainable plant protection measures in agriculture and horticulture. Biological control of plant diseases is a sustainable alternative to the chemical pesticides. While there is a growing interest world-wide concerning the use of biocontrol agents (BCAs), there are still several bottlenecks to overcome for their substantial use in crop production. It is for instance difficult to predict disease control efficacy due to the big variations often seen in field performance of BCAs. Therefore, for efficient use of BCAs one of the important aspect is to determine the genetic and molecular mechanisms of biocontrol and improve our understanding of mode of action of BCAs.
My research focus on a biocontrol fungus Clonostachys rosea known to be an effective BCA against a broad range of fungal plant pathogens. The mechanisms employed by C. rosea as a BCA are not fully explored, although competition for nutrition and space, mycoparasitism and antagonism through production of enzymes and secondary metabolites, and induction of plant defence responses are considered to play significant roles. Other important mechanisms lead to tolerance to harmful toxins that the BCA is exposed to during its interactions with plant pathogenic organisms. Moreover, C. rosea is able to tolerate relatively high concentrations of chemical fungicides in comparison with recommended commercial doses for controlling plant diseases – a trait that might be very important for practical application of the BCA in field crops where chemical pesticides also are used. My lecture will mainly address how C. rosea tolerates toxins and fungicides, and how tolerance to these compounds play an important role in the biocontrol of plant diseases.