Executive Summary :
Objective: To develop biological formulation(s) using the selected bio-control agents for Fusarium diseases in various economically important crops viz. Chickpea, Tomato and Gladiolus. Generation of bio-efficacy and toxicity data for registration of the microbial product(s) (single/consortia)
Summary: Along with different environmental factors, diseases are the major problems for cultivation of agriculture, horticulture crops and medicinal & aromatic plants in the greenhouse and field conditions which reduce the yield significantly if control measures are not taken timely. Soil borne pathogens attack the roots of the plant and lead to wilt diseases; bacterial pathogen also reduces the yield drastically by causing various diseases like soft rot, spot blotch, bacterial blight etc. Indiscriminate application of synthetic pesticides for the control of insect pests and diseases lead to pesticide resistance, harmful to natural enemies and environment besides accumulation of pesticide residues in soil and water leading to biomagnifications in the food chain. Use of bio-pesticides for the control of diseases has increased the global attention. The global market for bio-pesticides was valued at $2.78 Billion in 2016 and is estimated to reach $ 6.55 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 15.34% for the forecasted period. Biological formulation helps to increase storage, viability and shelf life of seeds and other planting materials. In India, only few biopesticide formulations (botanicals, microbial etc.) available in the market for the control of diseases (soil borne fungi and bacterial pathogens) and lacks virulence and quality. Virulence and pathogenicity of the fungi /bacteria varies with strains/isolates, geographical location, type of source, etc. Due to awareness of pesticide residue problems in the final produce, farmers/growers/stakeholders are now showing more interest on biopesticides for organic farming and sustainable agriculture. Therefore, it is necessary to develop icrobial formulations to help reduce the use of pesticides and promote organic farming. The microbiology team at CSIR-NBRI has some identified leads of potent microorganisms that can be used for biological control of Fusarium in various crops. These include (i) Paenibacillus lentimorbus for Fusarium in chickpea and ginger; (ii) Trichoderma spp. for soil borne fungal pathogens and (iii) Bacillus amyloliquifaciens for sheath blight disease in rice, (iv) Bacillus subtitlis (NBRI-PBE8) for biological control of Fusarium wilt in Tomato and (v) Bacillus subtilis (NBRI-W9) for biological control of Fusarium through aerial application in Gladiolus and Betelvine.