Biological control of fire blight

Apple trees, killed by fire blight, are removed by farmers

Fire blight, caused by the gram-negative bacterium Erwinia amylovora, is one of the most devastating diseases of apple, pear and quince. It reached Europe in 1957, and spread over the whole continent during the last years. In the apple growing area around Lake of Constance (Bodensee) thousands of fruit trees are threatened by the disease.

Infected blossom cluster

Infected twig

Recent information on the current fire blight situation:

Our research concentrates on the following questions:

• Understanding the infection process.

• Efficiency and mechanism of action of control agents used in organic apple growing.

• Screening of microorganisms for their efficiency against blossom infections.

• Development of biocontrol agents for use in fire blight control.


Entwicklung von Strategien zur Feuerbrandbekämpfung
im ökologischen Obstbau

Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau, Bereich: Pflanzenschutz
Teilprojekt 030E524/4; 06OE336
Laufzeit: 2004-2008
Projektnummer: 2808OE231
Laufzeit 2009-2011
Fördergemeinschaft ökologischer Obstbau
Julius-Kühn-Institut, Institut für biologischen Pflanzenschutz, Darmstadt

Interreg IV: "Gemeinsam gegen Feuerbrand"

Ein Projekt für den Obstbau in den Ländern Österreich, Deutschland, Schweiz und Liechtenstein

Laufzeit: 2007-2011

Contact: Stefan Kunz