Estimation of aeromycoflora in jute fields

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An air survey of jute fields for two seasons in West Bengal, India, revealed that the total colony forming units (CFUs) varied with time, showing peaks (231 and 483 CFUs, respectively) during harvesting of the crop. The effect of temperature as well as relative humidity is probably not so significant. However, the total rainfall does count. The CFUs are inversely proportional to the total rainfall. In the survey conducted, it was found that the rainfall of 1346.3 mm and 947.1 mm, during the two seasons corresponded to 574 and 1002 CFUs respectively, irrespective of growth phases of the crop. Penicillium and Aspergillus were the most dominant saprophytes followed by Curvularia and Cladosporium in the first season, while in 1991 Aspergillus and Curvularia were the most dominant, followed by Cephlalosporium, Penicillium and Cladosporium, along with Pullularia in the mid season. Pathogenic Macrophomina phaseolina causing stem rot disease, although appeared irregularly in the first season, became more frequent in later stages in the second season. Amongst other pathogens Helminthosporium occurred twice and three times in the earlier part of the two crop season, while Alternaria, Nigrospora and Fusarium occurred very occasionally.

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