Vista, Calif.-based Westbridge Agricultural Products has introduced a yeast-based biological to control Botrytis bunch rot in grapes and gray mold in strawberries.

Botector, as it is known, also is labeled for controlling Botrytis, Monilinia and storage diseases in pome fruit and stone fruit, according to Extension microbiologist Annemiek Schilder, who writes in a Michigan State University grower e-newsletter.

The product contains two strains of Aureobasidium pullulans, a naturally occurring yeast found in the environment and on plant surfaces.

The yeast organisms out-compete the pathogenic fungi, excluding them from space and nutrient access, according to the newsletter.

As a result, Botrytis cinerea is unable to colonize infection sites on the berry surface.

The product has to be applied as a preventive to the cluster zone.

It should not be applied aerially or though drip irrigation.

The product leaves no residue, does not affect fermentation or wine quality, and is harmless to bees and beneficial insects.

It also can be used in organic production.