Emerging and re-emerging biotic stresses of agricultural crops in India and novel tools for their better management.
Food security of our country is at risk due to heavy yield losses of agricultural crops caused by pests and diseases known together as biotic stresses. Conventional management practices in vogue are not competent under the current situations obscured by the incitants of biotic stresses which have either enhanced their offensive capabilities due to adaptive mutations or regained their pathogenic/herbivory potential owing to climate change. Numerous causal agents of biotic stresses are also introduced in the country or new regions of the country either through natural dispersal as invasive species, or on account of quarantine irregularities at national or international levels. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to appraise the impact of these new biotic stresses burgeoned in the recent past and to develop novel technologies for their management. To devise an effective preventive and eradicative strategy for containing these biotic stresses, new research innovations need to be practiced such as deciphering basic/molecular mechanism of host-pathogen/insect interactions; endophytic mechanisms of plant protection; nanotechnology in pest management; host resistance strengthening by gene cloning, recombinant DNA technologies, RNA biology, utilizing gene editing technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9, etc. This article presents a comprehensive account of new biotic stresses of agricultural crops built up in the country and also reviews the novel scientific inventions made worldwide which can be further employed to devise more efficient methods for alleviating impact of these biotic stresses of food crops in the country.