Microbes: A devil or savior of plant health?

Event Date(s): 26/05/2022

You are invited to attend the Professorial Inaugural Lecture by Professor Duraisamy Saravanakumar, Professor of Plant Pathology, on the topic Microbes: A devil or savior of plant health?

The lecture takes place on Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 6 p.m. To register, visit: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_o6_gTIz_QXyYSdcV_B3YBA    

Abstract: Microorganisms play a critical role in the management of plant health. They deteriorate plant health and cause diseases affecting crop yield and agricultural production. Plant diseases ultimately attract the application of synthetic pesticides leading to human and environmental health concerns. On the contrary, there are microorganisms that can boost plant growth and suppress the plant diseases. This can be further developed as biopesticides for the management of diseases attributing to the sustainable crop protection practices. The current research focused on the identification of plant beneficial microbes and develop them as a bioproduct to counteract the diseases affecting production of vegetables under tropical conditions. Further study on the characterization of plant beneficial microbes and understanding it’s mode of action in suppressing the vegetables diseases, fortified the concept of using them as savior of plant health and reservoir of bio-pesticidal compounds. Overall, the presentation will discuss developing a savior microbe to biopesticide in the management of vegetable diseases.

About The Speaker: Professor Saravanakumar holds a BSc in Agriculture, MSc in Plant Pathology and PhD in Plant Pathology from the Agricultural College and Research Institute of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India.

He joined The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus as Senior Lecturer in 2014.  Prior to this, he held a range of academic positions at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in India, and University of Turin in Italy. He has 15 years of experience in developing microbial based novel formulations for the management of plant health, including postharvest diseases.

He is currently engaged in research on the development of molecular diagnostics of tropical plant pathogens and bio formulations for the sustainable management of plant diseases. He served as an international consultant for Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to develop the Certification Protocol to produce disease-free planting materials in ginger and turmeric in Jamaica.  He supervised 15 graduate students, with another 12 currently reading for the MSc, MPhil and PhD levels.

Professor Saravanakumar has published over 60 impactful research papers in refereed journals and authored nine book chapters. His publications have over 3400 citations within Google Scholar, with papers published as first author, earning over 1500 citations – particularly in the fields of plant pathology, entomology, biological control, stress mitigation, microbiology, environmental science, and molecular biology.

He has received externally funded research grants over TT $ 5 million as Principal Investigator and Key Expert from funding agencies such as GEF-FAO, European Union, UWI-TT RDI Fund, Campus Research and Publication Fund and UNU-BIOLAC - United Nations University.

Professor Saravanakumar holds professional membership in a range of bodies including the American Phytopathological Society and India’s National Environmental Science Academy. Professor Saravanakumar is also a topic editor for the journal, Frontiers on the Topic of Plant Growth Promotional Microorganisms for Sustainable Agriculture. 



Open to: | General Public |