Alternaria sp. and Helmenthosorium sp. fungi are two main causal agents of leaf spot diseases in Date palm plantations. These diseases are controlled mechanically by cutting and burning the infected frond or by spraying chemical fungicides. For integrated pest management program (IPM), biological control should be included as a safer and more environment-friendly approach. Ideally, a bio-control agent from the same environment is recommended to avoid the complication of disturbing the ecological systems. Keeping this in mind, search was attempted to isolate bio-control agents against these diseases from the date palm environment. Microorganisms from rhizosphere and leaves of date palms infected with leaf spot diseases were isolated and purified. Isolates that were identified as microorganisms with well-known bio-control properties were selected. They were screened for their antagonistic effect on both Alternaria sp and Helmenthosorium sp fungi. The microscopic analysis revealed that isolates with inhibition effect on the diseases were belong to Trichoderma harizanium (a soil born fungus). Trichoderma harizanium is known as an eco-friendly bio-control agent. It is used effectively to control a wide range of fungal diseases in all types of crops. In total, five isolates that caused maximum inhibition to the pathogens were selected. They have the potentiality to be used as a bio-control agent against these diseases. They will be tested against other pathogenic fungi on other plant species to determine their range of use for biological control. After molecular characterization, they will be patented so that a commercial product(s) can be developed.


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