Gliocladium and Biological Control of Damping-Off Complex
The fungus Gliocladium virens Miller, Giddens and Foster is an important biological control agent. A formulation of a strain of this fungus was registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency. According to the regulations, studies may be required for effects that are toxicological, mutagenic, carcinogenic, fetotoxic, teratogenic, and oncogenic depending on the envisioned use pattern. The toxicological data submitted for the active ingredient included reports of an acute oral toxicity/pathogenicity study, an acute pulmonary toxicity/pathogenicity study, and an acute intravenous toxicity/pathogenicity study. The glasshouse bedding plant production industry requires safe, reliable treatments for controlling damping-off diseases, and nonchemical, natural biocontrol systems are favored. Commercialization of G. virens is dependent on marketing assessment and determination of market availability and profit margins. The use of the product will be beneficial in the control of damping-off diseases of seedling plants, which are a major source of economic loss in the glasshouse production of ornamental and food-crop plants.