Brown rot caused by Monilinia spp. is one of the economically most important fungal diseases of stone fruit in Europe. The following slides will explain more about brown rot and our tasks to develop an effective strategy based on biocontrol to control brown rot in stone fruit.
Are these Scenarios or more conditions under which theBCa does or doesn’t work? Do the countries and scenarios match?
A BCA against brown rot on stone fruit
Brown rot on stone
The BIOCOMES project brings together 27
partners developing 11 novel biological
control products for pests and diseases
One of these diseases is brown rot on
stone fruits. The following slides will
explain more about brown rot and our
tasks to develop an effective strategy
based on biocontrol to control it in
European stone fruit producing areas.
Brown rot caused by Monilinia spp. is one of the economically most important fungal
diseases of stone fruit in Europe. Stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums and
cherries) production in Europe reaches to 4.2 millions of tones. The main producer
countries are Italy, Spain, Greece and France.
Brown rot causes substantial pre-harvest and post-harvest losses. In the BIOCOMES
project we aimed to develop a new strategy based on two new biological control agents
(BCA’s). One BCA based on a fungus and the other based on a bacterium.
The filamentous fungus Penicillium frequentans 909 isolated by INIA and the bacterium
Bacillus amyloliquefaciens CPA-8 isolated by IRTA have demonstrated good efficacy as
biocontrol agents against Monilinia spp. on stone fruits.
During the first year, knowledge on biological and physical properties of both BCAs was
completed: effect of temperature, water activity, susceptibility to antibiotics and genetic
INIA and IRTA characterized and developed molecular markers to identify and
differentiate P. frequentans 909 and B. amyloliquefaciens CPA-8, respectively, from the
rest of microbiota.
At the same time TU Graz conducted the determination of relevant metabolites
produced by P. frequentans 909 and B. amyloliquefaciens CPA-8.
The next step was optimization of production and scaling up both biocontrol agents:
liquid in the case of B. amyloliquefaciens CPA-8 (IRTA) and solid in the case of
P. frequentans Pf909 (Bayer CropScience)
P. frequentans 909
At Bayer CropScience Biologics researchers developed new liquid formulations for
P. frequentans 909 BCA and studied the physical characteristics, shelf life and stability.
The best formulations were prepared to be applied at field treatments during fruit
Formulation of CPA-8 was studied and optimized by a team of researchers from IRTA
using liquid and solid (freeze-drying and fluid-bed spray-drying) formulations. Again the
best formulations (fluid-bed spray-dried) were chosen and tested during the field trials.
Two formulations of each BCA were tested at field conditions during the 2014 and 2015
fruit seasons in Catalonia. The field trials were conducted by OPENNATUR and IRTA in
order to stablish the more suitable strategy to control Brown rot on peaches and
The efficacy of both formulated BCAs was evaluated at harvest and after incubation
postharvest period. Efficacy of both BCAs have been shown under standard level of
disease. However, high pressure of disease and adverse meteorological conditions
reduces efficacy of the biocontrol strategies.
It has been possible to broaden the spectrum of action of both BCAs to different stone
fruits: nectarines, cherries, plums, apricots and flat peaches.
With a rainfall simulator, IRTA studied the tolerance of both formulations of each BCA to
rain wash, demonstrating a very good persistence.
Validation of the biocontrol strategies has been tested during the fruit season of 2016 in
Belgium (Pcfruit) for cherries and in France (OPENNATUR), Italy (BIOGARD) and Spain
(OPENNATUR-IRTA) for peaches and nectarines.
Uncontrolable disease: High
inoculum and extremely adverse
Controlable disease: Inoculum and conditions
in which disease is worthwhile and possible to
No inoculum in the field: no
Efficacy of both BCA agents has been shown in different producing areas in Europe
• Scenario 1: If there is not inoculum no control strategy is needed
• Scenario 2: Under adverse conditions BCAs or chemicals were not generally effective
• Scenario 3: If level of inoculum is controlable (low-medium or medium-high) BCAs are able to control brown rot and
sometimes similarly than chemicals
3 different scenarios:
IRTA and INIA then studied the shelf life of the formulated products. Different packages
and storage conditions are being tested. The results are promising.
The orchards are ready for the final validation of efficacy in Europe. The trials are being
conducted in the present fruit season of 2017.
This project has received funding from the
European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for
research, technological development and demonstration
under grant agreement no
This presentation gives a quick overview of
the development of a control strategy
based on biocontrol against Brown rot on
Visit our website to read more about our
work on Brown rot and other biological
control products we will develop.