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Current Trends in Microbiology   Volumes    Volume 15 
Formulation of fungal agents for the development of agricultural inputs to control phytoparasitic nematodes – A mini-review
Ana L. Sosa, Natalia S. Girardi, María A. Passone
Pages: 29 - 44
Number of pages: 16
Current Trends in Microbiology
Volume 15 

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Ecosystems are alarmingly polluted, with the consequent extinction of several sensitive species at an accelerated rate. The continuous use of agrochemicals for improved protection and plant productivity is often linked with adverse environmental impacts. Hence, more eco-friendly approaches are needed to reduce the impacts of pest management on human health and the environment. Increasing search and implementation of natural resources, such as biological control, biopesticides, biostimulants, and pheromones, is a priority for workers in integrated pest management, to achieve sustainable agriculture. Biological control causes a reduction in the pest population or in the severity of disease caused by the activity of a pathogen, through secretion of lytic enzymes, production of antibiotics, or competition for nutrients and space. All these mechanisms make them powerful agents for lowering the harmful damages by preventing the effects of pathogens on crops. Different biological agents have been well studied in the field of agricultural practices for many decades. Nevertheless, recent advances have been reported in the field of biopesticide production that aims to find methods that improve formulation and field application. The more common problem of the conventionally used solid and liquid formulations is the low viability of microorganisms during storage and application. However, it has been well established that the immobilization of microorganisms improves their shelf life and field efficacy. In this context, one option is the use of microcapsules for biocontrol agent preservation and application. Microencapsulation is an efficient and convenient method, which can overcome the drawbacks of other formulations and achieve extended shelf life. In addition, the possibility of entrapping a sufficient number of microorganisms and controlling microbial release enhances their application efficacy. This review discusses different biological agents’ microencapsulation developed over the last few years, including the production strategies and application thereof in agricultural practices for the control of phytoparasitic nematodes.
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