Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Montana State University, Bozeman 59717
Bacillus-based biological control agents (BCAs) have great potential in integrated pest management (IPM) systems; however, relatively little work has been published on integration with other IPM management tools. Unfortunately, most research has focused on BCAs as alternatives to synthetic chemical fungicides or bactericides and not as part of an integrated management system. IPM has had many definitions and this review will use the national coalition for IPM definition: “A sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health and environmental risks.” This review will examine the integrated use of Bacillus-based BCAs with disease management tools, including resistant cultivars, fungicides or bactericides, or other BCAs. This integration is important because the consistency and degree of disease control by Bacillus-based BCAs is rarely equal to the control afforded by the best fungicides or bactericides. In theory, integration of several tools brings stability to disease management programs. Integration of BCAs with other disease management tools often provides broader crop adaptation and both more efficacious and consistent levels of disease control. This review will also discuss the use of Bacillus-based BCAs in fungicide resistance management. Work with Bacillus thuringiensis and insect pest management is the exception to the relative paucity of reports but will not be the focus of this review.