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Filamentous fungi in biological control: current status and future perspectives

Noemi Carla Baron1, Everlon Cid Rigobelo1*, and Diego Cunha Zied1

Agriculture is the largest economic sector in the world. The awareness of the current environmental degradation caused by conventional farming practices has allowed the use of entomopathogenic fungi as a biological control technique to become increasingly widespread. Several studies from the laboratory bench to field trials show that fungi can be directly applied or, more recently, can be carried to the target by other biological vectors (i.e., insects), which increases their potential for dispersal and transmission. In addition, studies on the development of formulations have intensified, with the aim to enable their commercialization and reduce costs for the more sustainable management of crops. This review discusses the positive aspects of the use of filamentous fungi in the biological control of pests, specifically in terms of the use of antagonistic fungal plant pathogens and nematophagous fungi.

Key words: Biological control, environmental degradation, filamentous fungi, sustainable agriculture.

1Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias, Via de acesso Prof. Paulo Donato Castellane s/n, 14884-900, Jaboticabal, São Paulo, Brasil. *Corresponding author (everlon.cid@unesp.br).

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