Agriculture problem: Biological Control

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Literature review: Biological Control problem for Agriculture

The “Ten Problems for Agriculture in the 2020s” booklet identifies ten relevant areas from very recent contributions put forward at academic level in the form of journal articles, conference proceedings and students theses. Ten freely accessible internet references have been selected for each area and direct links are provided at the end of each chapter for own consultation. Our selected references do not intend to mirror ranking indexes nor establish novel classifications. On the contrary, they are meant to represent peer-reviewed, diverse and scientifically-sound case studies for vertical dissemination aimed at non-specialist readers. They will also be able to scoop even more references through the bibliography that is reported at the end of each selected reference.

Without further ado, these are the ten problems that we are going to introduce in this booklet:

  1. climate change, 
  2. precision agriculture,
  3. crop planning,
  4. climate-smart,
  5. soil ecosystem,
  6. entrepreneurship,
  7. competitiveness,
  8. sustainability,
  9. developing countries,
  10. biological control.

Each problem has its own dedicated chapter made of an introductory section, a short presentation of the ten selected references and a conclusions section.

The final chapter of this booklet will report the conclusions from each chapter again in order to provide a complete executive summary.

10 Biological Control

THE PROBLEM – Biological control agents insisting on natural and adversarial mechanisms are less dangerous for the quality of the crop, the soil ecosystem and the public health than chemical agents or genetically modified crops. Recent literature shows an increasing number of case studies and applications of contrasting insects, plants-derived agents and microbial experiments. Generally speaking, natural remedies relying upon known natural dynamics are to be preferred to synthetic, dangerous or not well-known agents.

CASE STUDIES — … buy this booklet from Amazon …

CONCLUSIONS — Biological control includes the control of invertebrate pests using predators, parasitoids and pathogens, the control of weeds using herbivores and pathogens, and the control of plant pathogens using antagonistic microorganisms and induced plant resistance. In Europe, no further land increase for agriculture is acceptable, since this is the most important driver for biodiversity loss, greenhouse gas increase and environmental impact. The use of botanicals for the control of diseases are last options in the organic agriculture, if all the other methods failed. In most cases antimicrobial metabolites are produced by antagonists directly on the spot where the targeted organism is harmful. In some cases, bacteriophage present as an alternative biocontrol in horticulture. An approach for isolating novel biological control agents for specific plant diseases is to look in healthy plants in a habitat where disease is a problem. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, most national governments have been encouraged to speed up the development of biosafety. Recently, considerable progress has been made in the field of antifungal drugs and the use of nanotechnology. Aggregate parameters for ranking agents are being proposed as more comprehensive than single parameters. Since the late 1800s, more than 200 invasive insect pests and over 50 weeds across the globe have been completely or partially suppressed through biological control.

TEN FREE REFERENCES FROM THE INTERNET — … buy this booklet from Amazon …

“Ten Problems for Agriculture in the 2020s” booklet for Amazon Kindle, 2020; click on the cover to go to the dedicated Amazon listing page

booklet updated on 5 Dec 2020, now on sale as version 1.1

By TenProblems

Literature Reviews for Inquisitive Minds