Global invasive Cochliobolus species: cohort of destroyers with implications in food losses and insecurity in the twenty-first century

Louis Bengyella, Elsie Laban Yekwa, Kiran Nawaz, Sehrish Iftikhar, Ernest Tambo, Arghavan Alisoltani, Naser Aliye Feto, Pranab Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Matching the global food demand by 2050 and to ensure the stability of food security in over than 99 countries, it is necessary to scale up the production of food such as sorghum, wheat, rice, maize and sugarcane which are however natural hosts of Cochliobolus species. Cochliobolus species major epidemics such as the Great Bengal famine, Southern corn leaf blight, and Northern leaf spot blight were associated with substantial economic losses in the past decades. Thus, there is an urgent need to establish a specific coordinated global surveillance program for the migration of invasive Cochliobolus species, planning contextual control programs engaging all agricultural stakeholders and information sharing in real time for prevention of disastrous Cochliobolus disease outbreak effects. We discuss pertinent outcome of interactions of cash crops with Cochliobolus species having devastating impact on the livelihood of farmers and food security. While post-genomic era elucidated prominent differences among Cochliobolus heterostrophus, C. carbonum, C. victoriae, C. lunatus and C. miyabeanus, their destructive potentials and implications in food losses remained unearthed. Intriguingly, the annual colossal losses caused by Cochliobolus species in the production perspective of sorghum, wheat, rice, maize, cassava and soybean is estimated over 10 billion USD worldwide. This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the invasive Cochliobolus species distribution and diversity, evolving pathogenicity, persistent diseases, threats and epidemics, consequences on food crops production and increasing global food insecurity issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-135
Number of pages17
JournalArchives of Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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