Crop protection programme needs state of the art facility to detect new virulence or pathotypes, insects and nematodes, mycotoxin analysis, detection of pesticide residue, Karnal bunt analysis, bio control agents, pathogens, latest survey and surveillance tools including satellite based mapping, art of state technology glass houses, phytotrons to simulate conditions prevailing in different agro-ecological zones, screening facilities in glass house against pests and in vitro studies for toxins of pathogens, containment facilities and international level teaching and training facilities for HRD.
Integrated pest management (IPM) – Ecofriendly approaches
Growing public concern over potential health hazards of pesticides has led to the exploration of eco-friendly integrated pest management (IPM) practices aiming at suppressing the pathogen/pest by combining more than one method of control in a harmonious way with minimum use of pesticides.
Genetics of disease resistance – rusts, powdery mildew, Karnal bunt etc.
Inheritance of resistance to rusts, powdery mildew, Karnal bunt and other diseases of wheat would be undertaken. Postulation of host resistance gene(s) and APR gene(s) in rusts and powdery mildew would be done in cooperation with few institutes in a network mode.
Unraveling the molecular mechanism in host-pathogen interactions
The precise molecular mechanism of plant pathogen recognition and R gene-mediated signaling network remains elusive despite major advances in the field of plant disease resistance. Determination of genetic features underlying pathogenesis of rust pathotypes is needed urgently. Genomics and proteomics technologies will provide insight into the biochemical functions of R proteins involved in rust resistance. Comparative genomics will be exploited for identification of new virulence genes.
Disease prediction modules – survey and surveillance
With the intensification of agriculture, changing cropping pattern and climatic changes, new pathogens/pests come to the fore either from outside or minor pathogens/pests acquire key status. Pest risk analysis would help in the prediction of impending problem and for taking preventive measures. Dictated by climate change, pesticides usage may change as the pest scenario changes. It is, therefore, essential that bio-risk analysis is carried out and disease prediction modules are developed.