Fungal diseases cause major losses of stored fruits and vegetables. Since pre- and/or post-harvest applications of synthetic fungicides are risky, alternative or integrative means to the use of these compounds are being investigated. Biocontrol agents applied alone under commercial conditions have sometimes afforded unsatisfactory protection if compared with the activity of some synthetic fungicides. Moreover, the frequent use of a few authorized products, particularly those with a specific mode of action, is responsible for the rising of resistant strains of fungal pathogens (e.g. Botrytis cinerea and Penicillium expansum). To improve the reliability of biocontrol agent’s activity and to reduce the amount of resistance-inducing fungicides, integrated control combining antagonists with a low dosage of fungicides (two methods with different modes of action) could represent a useful approach. After application the antagonist interacts with the pathogens and fungicides applied on fruits before and/or after harvesting. To optimise such integrated control, information on interactions involving antagonists, pathogens and fungicides is necessary. In this study, we report and discuss the results of investigations on the interaction in vitro and on fruits among biocontrol yeasts and low dosage of some common fungicides for controlling fungicide-resistant and sensitive strains of fungal pathogens of apples.
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