Entomovectoring of lactic acid bacteria to control Botrytis cinerea on strawberries. 01/11/2022 - 31/10/2024


The phytopathogenic fungus, Botrytis cinerea, is the most common reason for fruit rejection in small fruit crops such as the strawberry plant. To get rid of this fungus, chemical fungicides are still the most popular worldwide. Due to increased resistance, growing environmental awareness, continued consumer demand for fewer pesticide residues and more stringent policies in many countries, more and more research is being devoted to sustainable alternatives fitting within the framework of integrated pest management. Within this project, biocontrol using lactic acid bacteria is studied as an alternative. Lactic acid bacteria are well known for their protective properties within food applications, but their role on the plant and their potential as a biocontrol organism on the phyllosphere have only been investigated to a limited extent. To avoid inconsistent field performance, a common problem in biocontrol, candidates will be screened for their potential to survive and grow on the phyllosphere. We will focus on the entomovectoring system as the approach to applying these potential biocontrol agents. In this system, a vector, Bombus terrestris, will disseminate an optimized formulation of lactic acid bacteria directly to the strawberry flowers. In this way, pollination and crop protection are done at the same time and efficient delivery towards the target location is guaranteed.


Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project