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Sustainable Agriculture Reviews
Vol. 13, 20
14; Page: 87 - 107

Management of Pathogens of Stored Cereal Grains

Neeta Sharma, Avantina S. Bhandari

Department of Botany, University of Lucknow, Lucknow, 226 007, India.


Biodeterioration of grains due to pests such as insect infestation and molds is a chronic problem in tropical and subtropical countries. This problem is aggravated due to the hot and humid climate. Consumption of infected grains induces hazardous health effects causing hepatic carcinoma and other serious disorders. Because of the high consumption of grains protection and management is mandatory. Traditionally, safe storage of harvested produce is done by carefully selecting the storage site, using proper storage structures, cleaning and fumigation. Safe storage also involves proper aeration of grains, physical separation of infected grains, drying, irradiation and heat treatment. Synthetic pesticides have been used for protection of stored food grain due to good availability. The application of fungicides to grains after harvest to reduce decay has been increasingly impeded due to: the development of resistance to many key pesticides; the lack of alternative pesticides; toxicity and negative public reception.
Therefore alternatives to synthetic pesticides are needed. The distinct propensity towards a ‘Trek back to nature’ has become evident in recent past, especially in the field of pesticides. Recent reports show the development of natural products such as botanicals. Botanicals are secondary plant metabolites that can be commercialized as non-phytotoxic, systemic, easily biodegradable pesticide. Antagonistic microorganisms as an alternative approach to fungicides and as biocontrol agents have also been used effectively. Molecular biology has also been instrumental in providing some techniques for post harvest and storage management which is a boon for agricultural advancement.

Keywords: Grains; Biodeterioration; Biodeteriogens; Synthetic chemicals; Natural products; Bio-agents



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