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1


BIOPESTICIDES: IMPACT TO THE ENVIRONMENT


Loekas Soesanto

Faculty of Agriculture, Jenderal Soedirman University

P.O. Box 125, Purwokerto 53101 e
-
mail: lukassus26@gmail.com


ABSTRACT


Plant diseases always become an important
problem

affecting the whole life of plant.
Diseases

that impact crops in the

tropic
regions can be

significant constraints to production

influenc
ing

human life and the environment.
Mostly plant protection methods recently use
synthetic pesticides, especially fung
icide, that are toxic chemicals noxious the environment.
Because of the hazardous effect, one of environmentally friendly methods is developed to protect
plant from plant pathogens, that is, the use of biological control or referred to as biopesticides.
B
i
opesticide
s

encompass a broad array of microbial pesticides, biochemicals derived from
micro
-
organisms and other natural sources, and processes involving the genetic incorporation of
DN
A into agricultural commodities. Biopesticides have benefits and limita
tions effect for the
environment, human life, or agricultural products.
Biopesticides provide growers with valuable
tools on both fronts by delivering solutions that are highly effective in managing pests

and
diseases
, without creating negative impacts on
the environment

and
their active and inert
ingredients are generally recognized as safe
.

Beside the microbial content, carrier media for
formulating biopesticide were consisted of several organic materials, such as animal broth,
organic materials, or organic waste product. The media is biodegradable material. Biopesticides
supported stability

and sustainability of agroecosystem because they did not affect negatively on
environment.


Key Words:

plant diseases, biopesticides, environment.


INTRODUCTION


In
traditional or modern
agricultural field, plant diseases
always
become an important
proble
m
affecting the whole life of plant, from seed to seed
.
Diseases

that impact crops in the

tropic
regions can be

significant constraints to production,

especially when they occur in lowland

environments with high rainfall and

uniform, warm temperatures; res
pites from

disease pressure
there are often infrequent.

Decreasing plant production and commodities are resulted from plant
diseases attack

(Ploetz, 2007)
.
This is, according to Ploetz (2007), because the tropical region is
the world’s oldest barely
understood ecosystem with highly diversification and favorable
condition for plant disease development.

Because of the
plant
disease
, some important

commodities are disappeared from certain
region.
New problem raised from these diseases is not only decreas
e or failure of harvest

and
disappear of important plants
, but
people
famine, migration, or even die
,

and damage the
environment as well

can be influenced
.
For instance, potato late
and early
blight
are

important
2


disease
to the potato industry because
they

could destroy foliage and affect tubers
and finally
reducing yield
(Fry, 2007).
From the earlier phytopathological history, the disease could became
disaster fo
r

people living in the potato consuming countries.
Even soil
-
borne plant pathogens
such as
Colletotrichum
sp.
,
Rhizoctonia solani
,
Fusarium

sp.,
Sclerotium

sp., and
Phytophthora
infestans

and also air
-
borne one such as
Ceratocystis cacaofunesta

become the most important
worldwide plant pathogens in several
cultivated
crops and plants (
Kim
et al.
,

2003;
Engelbrecht

et al
., 2007;
Hamm, 2007
;
Widodo and Budiarti
, 2009)
.


Many methods

have been applied to solve plant

diseases

constraints

resulted
either
from
conventional or biotechnological views
,

f
or example,
eradication,
plant quarantine,
sanitation,
soil solarization, and cultivation technique

(
Park
et al
., 2006;
Ploetz, 2007;
Singh, 2007)
.
Most
ly

plant protection methods recently
use synthetic pesticides
,

especially fungicide,
that are toxic
chemicals noxious the environment for plant
pathogens

although the synthetic pesticide will be
vital and obligatory to maintain and improve yield (
Gamliel
et al
., 1997;
Smith
et al
., 2008)
.

However,
the hazardous

effect of these chemicals or their degradation products

on the
environment and human he
alth strongly

necessitates the search for new, harmless means of

disease control

(
Gamliel
et al
., 1997
;
Edreva, 2004
; Juraske and Sanjuan
,

2011
).
There are many
plant diseases where control by chemicals was never an option, such as the control of mycotoxin
contamination of diverse crops by
Aspergillus

species
(
Council for Agricultural Science and
Technology
, 2003).

Even
t
he use of

synthetic organic
insecticides in crop pest control

programs
around the world had caused tremendous

damage to the environment, pest resurgence, pest

resistance to insecticides, and lethal effects on non
-
target

organisms (Abudulai
et al
., 2001)

Because of the hazardous effec
t, one of environmentally friendly methods
is developed
to
protect plant from plant pathogens recently
, that is, the use of antagonistic microorganisms called
biological control or referred to as biopesticides
.
Disease management should be

considered as
pa
rt of an integrated approach

to crop production that also includes

the nutrition, water, and
environmental

needs of the crop, and its economic

constraints

(Ploetz, 2007)
.

The biological
control is proven as powerful plant disease management tool, which can provide great benefits.
Many beneficial microorganisms
,

such as
Pseudomonas fluorescens
,
Trichoderma

spp.,
Bacillus
subtilis
, and
Fusarium

non
-
pathogen
,

have been studied

and tested their ability against
various
plant pathogens
.

S
ome of them have been released and marketed as biopesticide

(
Chandler

et al
.,
3


2011)
.

In
China
,

vegetable farmer households with individual characteristics

and participation in
agricultural coopera
tives were more willing to use biopesticides

(Wu
et al
., 2012).


WHAT IS
BIOPESTICIDES
?

U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave a definition of biopesticides in which
b
iopesticides are
crop protection products which have been design for repeated application and
certain types of pesticides derived from such natural materials as animals, plants, bacteria, and
certain minerals

(
Ombudsman, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division
, 201
2; Panda,
2012)
. For example, canola oil and baking soda have pesticidal applications and are considered
biopesticides.
However,

Sudakin (2003)
and Gupta and Dikshit (2010)
stated broader definition

of biopesticides
that t
he term 'biopesticide' encompasses

a broad array of microbial pesticides,
biochemicals derived from micro
-
organisms and other natural sources, and processes involving
the genetic incorporation of DNA into agricultural commodities that confer protection against
pest damage (plant
-
incorporat
ed protectants).

According to
Ombudsman, Biopesticides and
Pollution Prevention Division

(2012), a
t the end of 2001, there were approximately 195
registered biopesticide active ingredients and 780 products.

According to Biopesticide Industry Alliance (BPIA
, 2009),
the significant reduction of
chemical usage in agriculture

have been
signed in 2009

by T
he Sustainable Use Directive for EU
governments to introduce national action plans by 2012. France, Denmark, and Sweden already
have aggressively reduced overa
ll agricultural chemical use by more than 30%. Through its
Ecophyto 2018 plan, which includes a robust grower
-
education component, France intends to
reduce its agricultural chemical usage by 50% by 2018 without affecting yield or revenues.
Overall, the num
ber of conventional pesticides approved for agricultural use in the EU has been
reduced from an all
-
time high of about 1,000 to a current list of 300

(BPIA, 2009)
.

The biopesticides can have one of more positive impact to plant by inhibiting plant
pathogen
ic growth and development. It means that biopesticides have
both
indirect
and direct
effect on p
l
ant. Inhibition of the pathogen is happened through several mechanisms
,

such as
antibiosis, competition
,

and hyperparasitism

(
Howell, 2003;
Hassanein

et al
.,
2009)
.

Members of
the genus
Trichoderma

that have ability to produce antibiotic (toxin) and to parasitize other
fungi, such as
Pythium ultimum

and a
Phytophthora

species, have been studied by Howell
(2003).
Hassanein

et al
. (2009)
studied
t
he antifungal ac
tivity of pyocyanin, siderophore and
4


hydrogen cyanide produced by
P
seudomonas

aeruginosa
.

Soesanto
et al
. (2011a) studied the
secondary metabolites produced by
Pseudomonas fluorescens

P60 such as chitinase, protease,
cellulase, starch and gelatin hydrolysis, antibiotic, siderophore, and IAA production.

Since 1999,
Pseudomonas fluorescens

isolated from wheat rhizos
phere
has been studied
to control some soil
-
borne plant pathogens, starte
d with
Verticillium dahliae

on
Arabidopsis
thaliana

and eggplant (Soesanto, 2000). The bacterial antagonist,
P. fluorescens

strain P60
,

was
then
tested against
Fusarium oxysporum

and other soil
-
borne plant pathogens
on several plants
included

soybean (Soes
anto
et al
., 2003), peanut (Soesanto, 2004),

chili pepper

(
Maqqon

et al
.,
2006)
,
gladiolus

(
Wardhana

et al
., 2009)
, tomato

(
Soesanto

et al.
, 2010)
, shallot

(
Santoso
et al
.,
2007;
Soesanto
et al
., 2011
d
)
, rice

(Soesanto
et al
., 2011d)
, potato

(Soesanto
et
al
., 2011d)
, and
banana

(
Haryono

et al
., 2008)
. Besides
the bacterial antagonist
, some isolates of
Trichoderma
harzianum

have

also been isolated from rhizosphere of several plants and then tested against
several plant pathogens

either
in vitro
,
in planta
,
in vivo
, or
in situ

(Amalia
et al
., 2004;
.
Susilo
et
al
., 2005; Soesanto
et al.,

2005; Prabowo
et al.
, 2006; Santoso
et al
., 2007).

The antagonist
s

both
P. fluorescens

strain P60 and
several
Trichoderma harzianum

isolates
used for control of several plant p
athogens
were

then analyzed
their
either
morphological, physiological, or biochemical characteristics

(Soesanto
et al
., 2011
a,b,c
)
.

Based
on the antagonist characteristic analysis, some mechanisms have been identified such as
antibiosis, competition on nutrition, plant growth promoting rhizobacteria or fungi, lytic
enzymes, and systemic induced resistance.
Based on research result of

S
oesanto
et al
. (2011a),
P.
fluorescens

strain P60 could produce several enzymes that have benefit impact to plant or
limitation to pathogen, and plant growth regulator such as indole acetic acid (IAA)
,

bur not
DNA
-
se
.
It means that the bacterial antagonist

did not have a negative effect to human.
From this
point of view, the antagonist can be
considered whether benefit, safe, and friendly or not to the
environment and human life.

The characteristic of the antagonist is an important work to know
the antagoni
st ability in affecting plant itself of plant pathogen.


BENEFITS AND LIMITATIONS OF BIOPESTICIDES


Biopesticides have benefits and limitations

effect for the environment, human life, or
agricultural products
. The benefits of biopesticides

(BPIA, 2009
;
Gupta and Dikshit, 2010
;

McGrath
et al
., 2010
)

as follow
:

5


1.

the ability to provide alternative modes of action to traditional products which makes them a
critical component in most IPM programs;


2.

are thought to turn on plant defense responses. Such products
should be applied before
infection to be effective
;

3.

have
the short residual time, low toxicity, and reduced risk to non
-
target organisms or the
environmen
t;

or mostly have host specific target;

4.

are often unable to compete with native soil microorganisms, t
hey tend to persist at levels
ineffective for control
;

5.

registration in less time than conventional chemical products because biopesticides exhibit
minimal impact on the environment and humans;

l
ow

persistent
,

or

mostly residual effect
biodegradable and self perpetuating
; less harmful on beneficial flora and fauna;

6.

the ability to extend the life of conventional chemicals by providing resistance management
benefits in agricultural programs;


7.

exemption from toleranc
es, such as reduced pre
-
harvest restrictions and application in
environmentally sensitive areas, which permits biopesticides that have no Maximum Residue
Levels (MRLs) to be used on crops intended for export and in urban settings;

8.

a high degree of worker s
afety and the shortest reentry intervals allowed by law;

9.

value
-
added benefits, such as improved plant health, yields and quality and an increase in
beneficial
, in both traditional and organic cultivation programs.

Beside the beneficial effect of biopestici
des, s
everal factors can affect performance of
biopesticides, or any product used for disease control. These need to be considered when
reviewing results from an efficacy experiment or on farm use

(McGrath
et al
., 2010)
.

1.

Biopesticides

may appear to be effective when actually conditions became unfavorable for
the disease to develop or the pathogen was not present. The earlier in disease development
that applications of a product are
started

the more effective the product will be.

2.

Disease spots (lesions) cannot be ‘cured’ and once a pathogen has infected a plant it cannot
be killed, even with most conventional fungicides, in contrast with insect pests which remain
on plant surfaces and are accessible to treatment.

3.

D
ata on the effic
acy of biopesticides
such as

the product's mode of action, residual time, and
target disease(s)

is limited
;

4.

Product performance can also be affected by spray coverage and frequency of application.

6


5.

Sometimes in efficacy experiments the pathogen is introduc
ed artificially rather than relying
on natural
inoculums
. This may result in disease pressure that is greater or less than what
would occur naturally
.


6.

Some products have continued to be developed and improved following registration, thus
results obtained
with an early formulation might not reflect the degree of control obtainable
with the current formulation.

7.

Performance of some products can be improved by using an adjuvant, but on the other hand,
it has been suggested that some products have been negativ
ely affected by the adjuvant used.

8.

Laboratory testing provides an indication of product activity, but these results alone are not
sufficient for predicting field efficacy because of the many environmental factors that can
affect performance.

9.

M
ost efficac
y studies have not been conducted in organic systems, where healthy soils, crop
rotations, and biodiverse agroecological environments may
affect

outcomes
.


IMPACT TO THE ENVIRONMENT


Biopesticides provide growers with valuable tools on both fronts by
delivering solutions
that are highly effective in managing pests

and diseases
, without creating negative impacts on the
environment

and
their active and inert ingredients are generally recognized as safe (GRAS)
.
Overall, biopesticides have very limited tox
icity to birds, fish, bees and other wildlife

including
beneficial soil microorganisms
. They help to maintain beneficial insect populations, break down
quickly in the environment, and may serve to reduce conventional pesticide applications through
their ef
fective use in

resistance management programs

(B
P
IA, 2009)

Biopesticide containing microbial antagonist(s) but not synthetic chemical could have
positive

impact to the environment

(Laengle and
Cass
, 2011)
.
Some microbial antagonists have
been used to contr
ol various plant pathogens. Among the microbial antagonists, the genus
Trichoderma

and
Pseudomonas

were studied and tested intensely (Howell, 2003; Amalia
et al
.
2004; Maqqon
et al
., 2006; Prabowo
et al
., 2006; Soesanto
et al
., 2005; Santoso
et al
., 2007).

Biopesticides did have no
Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs)

so that no residue in soil
will make sustainable agriculture

(BPIA, 2009)
.
The microbial antagonist needs favorable
condition in the environment for growth and development

similar to other
soil microorganisms
.
Based on research result of Soesanto
et al
. (2011b), the best temperature for grow
ing

some
7


Trichoderma

isolates was at range of 25
-
30°C similar for other microorganisms growing
temperature.
Bustamam (2012) stated that temperature and s
oil pH for growing
Streptomyces

spp. was at range of 20
-
37°C and 4.5
-
9, respectively.


Beside the microbial content, carrier media for formulating biopesticide
were
consisted of
several organic materials, such as animal broth
, organic materials,

or organic waste product

(
Schisler
et al
., 2004;
Soesanto
et al
., 2011a)
.
The media is biodegradable material

(Gupta and
Dikshit, 2010)

so that the media did not cause residue in soil
.

The media is needed for
stimulating soil microbial growth by providing

some important nutrients.
The media could also
be used as nutritional source for other soil microorganisms.
According to Soesanto
et al
. (2010),
application of
Pseudomonas fluorescens

P60 against
Fusarium oxysporum

f.sp.
lycopersici

on
tomato could increase the antagonist as 10
-
fold.

Based on Kurze
et al
. (2001) research result,
u
nder field conditions, strain HRO
-
C48
of
Serratia
plymuthica
, biocontrol agent of fungal
strawberry diseases,
survived

at

approximately log10 3 to 7 CFU/g o
f root in the strawberry
rhizosphere at 14 months after root

application.

It is well established

that complex biological interactions can take place among
biocontrol

pseudomonads, plant pathogens, their hosts, and other members

of the microbial
community.

N
umerous studies have

also revealed that biocontrol pseudomonads are widely
distributed in

agricultural soils, and that multiple crop and soil factors can affect their

abundance
and activities

(
McSpadden Gardener, 2007
)
.


CONCLUSION


In conclusion,
plant diseases problem influencing plant growth and production could be
better handled by biopesticides than synthetic pesticides. The
biopesticides are the best way to
control plant pathogens because of their beneficial effect though there are still many
limitations
to be reduced. Biopesticides supported stability and sustainability of agroecosystem because they
did not affect negatively on environment.


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