Elena T. Iakimova1 and Piotr Sobiczewski2
1 Institute of Ornamental and Medicinal Plants, 1222 Negovan, Sofia, Agricultural Academy, Bulgaria
2 The National Institute of Horticultural Research, Laboratory of Plant Pathology, 96-100 Skierniewice, Poland
Iakimova, E. T. & Sobiczewski, P. (2022). Bacteria as biocontrol agents of infectious diseases on horticultural crops (review). Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 28 (5), 866–875
Plant protection against diseases with the aid of bioproducts based on bacteria is a promising strategy, which may be an alternative to some practices based on the usually applied synthetic fungicides and bactericides and is a subject of intensive research. The antagonistic bacteria show ability to suppress pathogens and prevent infections of various agricultural crops. The present review outlines the main modes of action of these microorganisms at their interaction with bacterial and fungal plant pathogens, including antibiosis through production of secondary metabolites with antimicrobial activity, competition for nutrients and space, and/or parasitism. Often some of the beneficial bacteria combine more than one mode of action. In addition to their adverse effect on the pathogens, certain bacterial biocontrol agents show a potential to promote the plant growth and induce plant resistance to infection and other stresses. The modes of action are supported with examples of more recent and some earlier research findings referring primarily to horticultural crops. Described are some commercial preparations based on bacteria, registered for practical use as protectors against bacterial and fungal diseases. The prospective for further studies and considerations on ecological issues are commented.