In order to maintain the productivity of various crops more and more synthetic chemicals are being added in the natural environment by the farmers and layman who enter the food chain through water, soil and air as a result it seriously affect the human health and environment. According to the World Health Organization survey, more than 50,000 people in developing countries are annually poisoned and 5,000 die as a result of the effects of toxic agents, used in agriculture. In India 35,000 – 40,000 tons of hazardous chemicals are sprayed on the crops every year, instead of helping the poor, these chemicals are causing cancer, sterility and death. These synthetic chemicals are unsustainable and uneconomical in the long run. So there is an urgent need to develop sustainable methods for these horrible diseases. The remedy lies in the use of more natural products which do not damage the ecosystems such as biofertilisers, bioinsectisides and biofungicides. Persistent literature reveals that plants are rich sources of bioactive agents as plants and their product are known to possess various secondary metabolites including alkaloids, coumarimes, flavonoids, steroids/ terpenoids, quinines, tannins, phenolic and resins etc and are responsible for the biological activities of the plant extracts, which showed inhibitory effect against the growth of pathogens.Therefore, the plants and their product should be utilized to combat the diseases causing pathogens. So, it is advantageous to use these plant-extracts to combat the pathogens, instead of using synthetic chemicals as these chemicals are hazardous to human health and deteriorate the environment. Hence eco-friendly management of crop’s diseases is the only safe substitute to be explored to control these phyto pathogens and to maintain sustainable agriculture and environment. Keeping these problems in view, efforts are underway to search economic safe phytochemicals, which could be utilized for disease control. Thus in the present study laboratory bioassays were performed to evaluate the antifungal activity of one hundred and twenty plant part extracts of hundred plants spanning over forty five families against three plant pathogenic fungi by the food poisoning method in terms of measuring the percent reduction in mycelium growth as compared to control. The various plants tested for their antifungal activity have shown varied response. The results are promising and some of the plants have shown inhibitory activity against one or two fungi whereas others have shown a broader spectrum of activity, some plants showing good activity against all the test fungi. Plants samples of some families such as Apocynaceae, Caesalpinaceae, Combretaceae, Compositae, Ebenaceae, Liliaceae, Lythraceae, Meliaceae,Mimosaceae, Rosaceae, Salvadoraceae, Sapindaceae, Theaceae and Zingibraceae were found to be comparatively more effective against the test fungi.

In view of the above facts, the present study has elaborated our knowledge by accessing the antifungal properties among the available natural flora which can subsequently be explored for the possibilities towards the identification of the key bioactive agents, through implying modern microbiology and biochemical techniques.

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Eco-friendly management of phytopathogenic fungi

Surender Bhardwaj   M. D. University, India

In order to maintain the productivity of various crops more and more synthetic chemicals are being added in the natural environment by the farmers and layman who enter the food chain through water, soil and air as a result it seriously affect the human health and environment. According to the World Health Organization survey, more than 50,000 people in developing countries are annually poisoned and 5,000 die as a result of the effects of toxic agents, used in agriculture. In India 35,000 – 40,000 tons of hazardous chemicals are sprayed on the crops every year, instead of helping the poor, these chemicals are causing cancer, sterility and death. These synthetic chemicals are unsustainable and uneconomical in the long run. So there is an urgent need to develop sustainable methods for these horrible diseases. The remedy lies in the use of more natural products which do not damage the ecosystems such as biofertilisers, bioinsectisides and biofungicides. Persistent literature reveals that plants are rich sources of bioactive agents as plants and their product are known to possess various secondary metabolites including alkaloids, coumarimes, flavonoids, steroids/ terpenoids, quinines, tannins, phenolic and resins etc and are responsible for the biological activities of the plant extracts, which showed inhibitory effect against the growth of pathogens.Therefore, the plants and their product should be utilized to combat the diseases causing pathogens. So, it is advantageous to use these plant-extracts to combat the pathogens, instead of using synthetic chemicals as these chemicals are hazardous to human health and deteriorate the environment. Hence eco-friendly management of crop’s diseases is the only safe substitute to be explored to control these phyto pathogens and to maintain sustainable agriculture and environment. Keeping these problems in view, efforts are underway to search economic safe phytochemicals, which could be utilized for disease control. Thus in the present study laboratory bioassays were performed to evaluate the antifungal activity of one hundred and twenty plant part extracts of hundred plants spanning over forty five families against three plant pathogenic fungi by the food poisoning method in terms of measuring the percent reduction in mycelium growth as compared to control. The various plants tested for their antifungal activity have shown varied response. The results are promising and some of the plants have shown inhibitory activity against one or two fungi whereas others have shown a broader spectrum of activity, some plants showing good activity against all the test fungi. Plants samples of some families such as Apocynaceae, Caesalpinaceae, Combretaceae, Compositae, Ebenaceae, Liliaceae, Lythraceae, Meliaceae,Mimosaceae, Rosaceae, Salvadoraceae, Sapindaceae, Theaceae and Zingibraceae were found to be comparatively more effective against the test fungi.

In view of the above facts, the present study has elaborated our knowledge by accessing the antifungal properties among the available natural flora which can subsequently be explored for the possibilities towards the identification of the key bioactive agents, through implying modern microbiology and biochemical techniques.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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