Researchers from Wageningen University in The Netherlands have discovered a naturally occurring fungus which they say could provide control against apple scab.
The fungus, Cladosporium cladosporioides which has been codenamed ‘H39’, was identified as part of a project to identify and assess potential methods of controlling Venturia inaequalis, the fungal pathogen responsible for apple scab.
“[H39] has not only been tested for its ability to fight the pathogen. The new Select BioControl method was also used to immediately assess the practical feasibility of deploying it as a commercial product,” says Dr Jürgen Köhl of Wageningen University and Research Centre. “In our search for a biological alternative we looked at the various fungi that are naturally found in the places where scab occurs.”
The new Select BioControl method of assessing potential biological control mechanisms differs from what has been done before as it note only looks at the efficacy of the antagonist species, but considers other factors such as cost effectiveness and the possibilities in terms of protection of intellectual property.