Atmospheric bioaerosols, which contain a diverse group of various biological materials, also include pathogenic microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, and fungal spores. The dispersal of various pathogens negatively impacts the human and ecosystem health. While the impact of pathogenic bacteria and viruses on human and ecosystem health is well documented, the impact of fungal spores on crop, however, is poorly characterized. An unprecedented increase in number of fungal and fungal-like diseases (emerging fungal diseases (EFDs)) in plants is threatening the food security and endangering the biodiversity. In present communication, we show an increasing trend in the fungal bioaerosol attacks on crops over India outstripping bacteria and viruses. We further argue about the complex interactions between the fungal species, and crop impact over India is unique and highly interconnected with the topography, meteorological variables, and season of the year. Under constantly warming scenario, the fungal attacks on plants are expected to rise and, in all likelihood, extend to the sensitive and fragile ecosystems like the Himalayan region and the Western Ghats. An increasing trend in EFDs calls for immediate coordinated efforts towards understanding the type and diversity of pathogenic fungal bioaerosols. There is, however, a lack over Indian region about biogeography of pathogenic fungi. The detailed biogeography would help in improving public and political awareness to formulate the effective policy decisions. Any further disregard and delay in recognizing the importance of EFDs to crop and sensitive ecosystems can have severe societal and ecological repercussions over Indian region.
|Journal||Data powered by TypesetEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research|
|Publisher||Data powered by TypesetSpringer Science and Business Media LLC|