Fungicide over-use leads to resistant fruit and vegetable pathogens.

Photo credit: Steven Depolo Photo credit: Steven Depolo

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria evolve with the overuse of antibiotics, ‘superweeds’have evolved resistance to commonly used herbicides, and now a recent review in the Journal of Chemical Biology shows that fungal pathogens are developing resistances to fungicides due to excessive application. For its case study, the paper specifically uses the grey mold fungus, a destructive pathogen for many fruits and vegetables and one that has developed at least some resistance to the majority of fungicides used to combat it. The authors suggest that by using good management strategies including sanitation, limiting the use of nitrogen fertilizer, reducing and humidity and removing infected plant parts, one can reduce grey mold fungus infections. Reducing the excessive use of fungicides can slow down the evolution of resistant pathogens such as the gray mold fungus.