Dr. M. Y. Sreenivasa, Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Mysore (India) has 16 years of teaching experience at post-graduation level.
Having participated in numerous research projects and received many awards, Dr. Sreenivasa has extensive knowledge in the field of mycology and mycotoxin production.
MYCOLOGY IS A FASCINATING FIELD OF RESEARCH. WHAT MAKES THESE MICROORGANISMS SO INTERESTING AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND AND STUDY THEM?
Obviously, mycology is a fascinating field of research since fungi are widely distributed, omnipresent and also playing both positive and negative role in the environment as a saprophyte, symbiont, pathogen, contaminant and beneficial organisms.
This versatility of fungi allows them to associate with humans, animals, plants, and many more. To unravel the mysteries of many economically important fungi, it’s interesting to study their biology and physiology.
PART OF YOUR RESEARCH HAS BEEN FOCUSED ON FUSARIUM AND ASPERGILLUS. WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION OF THESE TWO MOLDS IN INDIA? ARE THEY A PROBLEM FOR FARMERS?
Aspergillus and Fusarium are co-occurring spoilage fungi that are present in stored food/ feed commodities, posing a great threat to the food and livestock industries in India and worldwide.
These genera are infamously known to be storage fungi predominating in the stored food products.
Many commodities exported from India have been rejected due to aflatoxin/fungal contamination.
Around 72% of the globally analyzed food/ feed samples have been contaminated with these mycotoxins, which entails a great health risk for humans and animals due to chronic foodborne diseases and intoxications (Schatzmayr and Streit, 2013; Oliveria et al., 2017).
Farmers in India, are facing major problem with these fungi as they are multi-phytopathogenic and also potential mycotoxin producers.
Storage conditions and environmental factors are also conducive for their colonization in India and many other developing countries.
Fusarium is also a field fungus known to colonize various food crops resulting in low yield. A few to name are Fusarium wilts in cucurbits, Fusarium blights and spots in cereals etc. In my opinion, they are always problem to farmers throughout the world.