Understanding plant microbe interactions is very crucial for sustainable agriculture said Dr. Appa Rao Podile, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, University of Hyderabad. He urged scientists and students to focus more on basic studies which will ultimately help in evolving technologies that withstand the test of time. He was delivering the second Dr. Y. R. Sarma Memorial Lecture in a public function organized at Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR), Kozhikode on Saturday. The lecture was organized to pay homage to world renowned plant pathologist and former Director of IISR, Dr. Y.R. Sarma, on his second death anniversary. Dr. K. Nirmal Babu, Director, IISR, Kozhikode, Former Director Dr. P.N. Ravindran, Dr. S. Devasahayam, Dr. Santhosh J. Eapen, Ms. Aruna Sreenivas and Dr. C. N. Biju addressed the gathering. Around one hundred participants comprising of scientists, students and farmer representatives took part in the function. On this auspicious occasion, an Endowment Fund was also launched in memory of him.