Reference # 6335856

TOPIC 3. Comparative vegetation structure and function

Role of plants in the management of phytopathogens

Surender Kumar BHARDWAJ
Botanical Garden/Herbal Garden, M.D. University, Rohtak, Haryana, India

There are concerns about the widespread use of chemicals in crop production in developing countries because of their possible adverse effects on human health and environment. According to a World Health Organization survey, more than 50,000 people in developing countries are poisoned annually and 5,000 die as a result of the effects of toxic agrichemicals. In India 35,000-40,000 tons of hazardous chemicals are sprayed on crops every year and this is considered to increase the risk of cancer, sterility and death. There is an urgent need, therefore, for the development of safer and more sustainable methods of crop production. The remedy lies in the use of more natural products which do not damage the ecosystems such as biofertilisers, bioinsectisides and biofungicides. So, it is advantageous to use these plant-extracts to combat the pathogens, instead of using synthetic chemicals as these are hazardous to human health and the environment. Hence eco-friendly management of crops diseases is the only safe substitute to be explored to control these phyto pathogens. Keeping these problems in view, efforts are underway to search economic safe phytochemicals, which could be utilized for disease control. In the present study, experiments were carried out to evaluate the antifungal properties of 120 samples of 100 plants spanning over 45 families against seven plant pathogenic fungi. The results are promising and some of the plants have shown varying levels of inhibitory activity. Plant 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. Hence eco-friendly management of crop diseases is the only safe substitute to be explored to maintain sustainable agriculture and environment.

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