Barley is an important crop worldwide with production largely used for animal feed and alcoholic beverages. Diseases are a major limiting factor to its production. These have, up until recently, been controlled by agrochemicals. However, legislation on the use of agrochemicals, especially within the European Union, is being tightened and there is growing interest in integrated pest management. This means that there is an increasing focus on controlling diseases using biological control. Living microorganisms that are applied as biological control agents (BCAs) to either soil, seed or leaves can have difficulty in persisting. Therefore, the focus of this review is on endophytes, which are microorganisms that live inside the plant without causing symptoms of disease and have the potential of staying protected as well as being beneficial to the plant and effective against multiple diseases. In this review, we discuss the different approaches for finding and testing beneficial endophytes and for determining the endophyte host range. Furthermore, we undertook a literature search to summarise previous studies that have investigated the use of endophytes as well as BCAs against barley diseases.
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