Selection criteria for microbial antagonists for seed coating to protect seedlings from diseases


Abstract: The use of fungicides commonly used for seed applications will be phased out in the European Union so that new alternative seed treatments will be needed in the future. To achieve this goal, new bacterial and fungal antagonists need to be screened and selected for applications on seeds using valid selection criteria. Seed processing technologies for sorting, drying, testing, cleaning, packaging, and storing of seeds were analysed and main bottlenecks for survival of living micro-organisms before, during and after seed coating processes were identified. This information will be used to develop valid assays for the screening of large numbers of candidate antagonists with the aim to exclude microorganisms that are vulnerable to the exposed conditions during seed coating and handling, storage and use of the coated seeds.

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