BB Mundkur obtained his PhD (1930) from Iowa State College of Agricultural, USA specializing in mycology and plant pathology. Mundkar served as a Mycologist, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi; Deputy Director of Plant Diseases, Directorate of Plant Protection, Ministry of Food and Agriculture; Professor of Botany, University of Poona, Pune.
Academic and Research Achievements: Mundkur did extensive work on plant fungi. He investigated the diseases of Patwa (Hibiscus sabdariffa var. altissima), rice, tobacco and other crops; discovered the mode of transmission of ‘partial’ bunt Neovossia indica of wheat. He also studied the smuts of wheat, barley and oats and reported several smut-resistant varieties. His interest also lay in systematic mycology. In collaboration with MJ Thirumalachar, type, co-type or athenticated specimens of almost all the rust genera proposed during the past century or more were studied by him and a monographic account was published. Mundkur also entensively studied the fungi affecting local crop/plant population and published an account of the Fungi of Afghanistan. He established four genera and over a hundred new species and new combinations of fungi. The smut genus Mundkurella was named in his honour by Thirumalachar.
Other Contributions: Published a book entitled Fungi and Plant Diseases (1949), a supplement to Butler and Bisby’s Fungi of India. His monograph Ustilaginales of India was published by Commonwealth Mycological Institute (1952).
Awards and Honours: Mundkur was a Member, American Phytopathological Society, Society of Sigma Xi (USA); Founder Member, Secretary-cum-Treasurer and President, Indian Phytopathological Society. He also served as President, Botany Section, Indian Science Congress (1951).