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History of Plant Pathology with special reference to Indian works, Scope of Plant Pathology, Objectives of Plant Pathology, Classification of Plant Diseases, Plant Pathological Institutes, IARI (Indian Agricultural Research Institute) ICRISAT (The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics) Seed Pathology, Some Plant Diseases Cereals, Pulses, Vegetables, Oil Seeds, Ornamentals etc.
T.vaibhav & Company Aurangabad Vaibhav_tarkasband@ymail.com
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History of Plant Pathology with special reference to Indian works
Historical perspectives show that the attention of man to plant diseases and the science of plant pathology were drawn first only in the European countries. Greek philosopher Theophrastus (about 286 BC) recorded some plant diseases about 2400 years ago. This branch of science could maintain a proper record on the plant disease and their causal organisms only after development of compound microscope by the Dutch worker Antony von Leeuwenhoek in 1675. He first visualized bacteria in 1683 under his microscope. Robert Hook (1635-1703) also developed simple microscope which was used to study of minute structure of fungi. The Italian botanist Pier’ Antonio Micheli (1679-1737) first made detail study of fungi in 1729. With the contribution of many other scientists’ viz., Mathieu Tillet (1755), Christian Hendrik Persoon (1801) and Elias Magnus Fries (1821), the foundation of modern plant pathology was built and was further strengthened by Anton de Bary (1831-1888), who is regarded as the Father of Plant Pathology.Historically, plant pathology of India is quite ancient as the Indian agriculture, which is nearly 4000 years old. This confirms that mention about plant diseases was made much before the time of Theophrastus. The events of the development of plant pathology in India are chronologically recorded as follows:
Plant diseases, other enemies of plants and methods of their control had been recorded in the ancient books viz., Rigveda, Atharva Veda (1500-500 BC), Artha Shastra of Kautilya (321-186 BC), Sushruta Samhita (200-500AD), Vishnu Purana (500 AD), Agnipurana (500-700 AD), Vishnudharmottara (500-700 AD) etc. During 11th century, Surapal wrote Vraksha Ayurveda, which is the first book in India where he gave detail account on plant diseases and their control. Plant diseases were grouped into two-internal and external. Tree surgery, hygiene protective covering with paste, use of honey, plant extracts, oil cakes of mustard, castor, sesamum etc. are some of the disease management practices recorded in the book. Symptoms of plant diseases are cited in other ancient Indian literatures viz. Jataka of Buddhism, Raghuvamsha of Kalidas etc.
Scope of Plant Pathology
Plant pathology comprises with the basic knowledge and technologies of Botany, Plant Anatomy, Plant Physiology, Mycology, Bacteriology, Virology, Nematology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Genetic Engineering, Biochemistry, Horticulture, Tissue Culture, Soil Science, Forestry, Physics, Chemistry, Meteorology, Statistics and many other branches of applied science. Plant pathology encompasses the study of plant diseases caused by: bacteria, fungi, oomycetes, phytoplasmas, nematodes, parasitic higher plants, protozoa, viruses, viroids and environmental toxins. Research designed to promote plant health in a way which contributes to the sustainability of agriculture is of particular interest today, including: strategies for avoiding the development of pathogen populations resistant to disease control agents; improved plant disease chemicals (i.e. environmentally safe and effective at very low levels of application); improved microbial controls; reduction of postharvest losses; and integrated pest management. Plant damage caused by insects is investigated by entomologists (though plant pathology includes the study of insects as pathogen vectors) and is treated in the entomology collection policy; damage to crops by animals is treated in the agronomy collection policy. While the emphasis is on diseases of horticultural and field crops, both temperate and tropical, the department is also interested in plant disease in natural communities. Specific topics comprising plant pathology include: Parasitism and disease development. Plant virology, plant bacteriology, mycology, plant nematology; parasitism and pathogenicity.Host range of pathogens; stages in the development of disease in plants, life cycles of pathogens; basic research on the genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology of host-parasite interactions; plant- parasite coevolution. How pathogens attack plants. Mechanical and chemical (enzymes and microbial toxins) forces of pathogens; growth regulators in plant disease;
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Effects of pathogens on plant physiological functions, including photosynthesis, translocation, respiration, transcription and translation of genetic material; quantification of the effects of pathogens as constraints to plant productivity. How plants defend themselves against pathogens: structural and metabolic defences. Genetics of plant disease. Variability in organisms; types and durability of plant resistance to pathogens; genetics of virulence and resistance; plant pathology and the breeding of resistant varieties. Environmental effects on plant disease development, including temperature, moisture, wind, light, pH, nutrition, herbicides, and atmospheric pollutants. Epidemiology and population aspects of plant disease. Detection, identification, and quantitative analyses of epidemics of pathogens; population dynamics of pathogens in time and space; interactions of pathogen and plant populations; disease in natural communities; applications of theory and modelling to disease management; forecasting epidemics; farmer-warning systems. Control of plant diseases. Quarantines, inspection, and seed and stock certification; cultural, biological, physical and chemical control methods that eradicate or reduce the pathogen inoculum; immunization; improving resistance; direct protection through biological controls (fungal and bacterial antagonists) and chemical controls (i.e. fungicides and antibiotics applied as foliar sprays and dusts, as seed or soil treatment; treatment of tree wounds; and control of postharvest diseases); integrated pest management. Microbial molecular biology and agricultural biotechnology, plant tissue culture systems. Systematics of fungi and plant pathogenic bacteria. Details on coverage will be included in the Systematics collection policy.Materials for the home gardeners are collected selectively. Exclusions: Mann does not collect on diseases of grapes. This area is collected at the Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. The Horticulture Department is creating a joint viticulture/enology program that is slated to begin fall 2005. Losses Due to Plant Pathogens Globally, enormous losses of the crops are caused by the plant diseases. The loss can occur from the time of seed sowing in the field to harvesting and storage. Important historical evidences of plant disease epidemics are Irish Famine due to late blight of potato (Ireland, 1845), Bengal famine due to brown spot of rice (India, 1942) and Coffee rust (Sri Lanka, 1967). Such epidemics had left their effect on the economy of the affected countries.
Objectives of Plant Pathology
Plant Pathology (Phytopathology) deals with the cause, etiology, resulting losses and control or management of the plant diseases. The objectives of the Plant Pathology are the study on: The living entities that cause diseases in plants; The non-living entities and the environmental conditions that cause disorders in plants; The mechanisms by which the disease causing agents produce diseases; The interactions between the disease causing agents and host plant in relation to overall environment; and v. the method of preventing or management the diseases and reducing the losses/damages caused by diseases.
Classification of Plant Diseases
Plant diseases are caused by pathogens. Hence a pathogen is always associated with a disease. In other way, disease is a symptom caused by the invasion of a pathogen that is able to survive, perpetuate and spread. Further, the word “pathogen” can be broadly defined as any agent or factor that incites 'pathos or disease in an organism or host. In strict sense, the causes of plant diseases are grouped under following categories: 1. Animate or biotic causes: Pathogens of living nature are categorized into the following groups.
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Phytoplasma Rickettsia-like organisms Algae Phanerogams Protozoa Nematodes
2. Inanimate or abiotic causes: In true sense these factors cause damages (any reduction in the Quality
or quantity of yield or loss of revenue) to the plants rather than causing disease. The Causes are: Deficiencies or excess of nutrients (e.g. ‘Khaira’ disease of rice due to Zn deficiency) Light Moisture Temperature Air pollutants (e.g. black tip of mango) Lack of oxygen (e.g. hollow and black heart of potato) Toxicity of pesticides Improper cultural practices Abnormality in soil conditions (acidity, alkalinity)
Plant Pathological Institutes
IARI (Indian Agricultural Research Institute)
Indian Agricultural Research Institute was established in the Year 1905 at PUSA, Bihar. Its original name before 1947 was Imperial Agricultural Research Institute. After the Independence the name was changed to Indian Agricultural Research Institute. In the year 1936 due to a massive earth quake it was shifted to Pusa, New Delhi. Since Independence IARI, is a premier institute for Agricultural Research and was instrumental in 1960-70 Green Revolutions. The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) is the country's premier national Institute for agricultural research, education and extension. It has served the cause of science and society with distinction through first rate research, generation of appropriate technologies and development of human resources. In fact, the Green Revolution was born in the fields of IARI and our graduates constitute the core of the quality human resource in India's agricultural research and education. The Institute has all along been adjusting and improving its policies, plans and programmes to effectively respond to the needs and opportunities of the nation. During the fifties, the advancement of scientific disciplines constituted the core programme and provided the base for its fast expansion in the 1960's and 1970's in all its three interactive areas, namely, research, education and extension. Besides basic research, applied and commodity research gained great importance resulting in the development of several popular high yielding varieties of almost all major crops and their associated management technologies, which brought about an unprecedented increase in the national food and agricultural production.
The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a non-profit, nonpolitical organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world. Covering 6.5 million square kilometres of land in 55 countries, the semi-arid or dryland tropics has over 2 billion people, and 644 million of these are the poorest of the poor. ICRISAT and its partners help empower these poor people to overcome poverty, hunger and a degraded environment through better agriculture. ICRISAT is headquartered in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, with two regional hubs and four country
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offices in sub-Saharan Africa. It belongs to the Consortium of Centers supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). ICRISAT conducts research on five highly nutritious, drought-tolerant crops – chickpea, pigeon pea, pearl millet, sorghum and groundnut. It also develops sustainable management of semi-arid tropic (SAT) systems through efficient and sustainable management of natural resources, and enables policies and institutions for improving livelihoods and achieving food, nutrition and health security while protecting the environment. Dryland agriculture has long been viewed with pessimism and hopelessness. Tropical dryland areas are usually seen as resource-poor and perennially beset by shocks such as drought, trapping dryland communities in poverty and hunger and dependent on external aid. ICRISAT challenges this pessimistic view. Working with diverse partners in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa for almost four decades, ICRISAT has found that dryland farmers are ingenious and resourceful. By applying scientific innovations backed up with adequate policy, marketing and other support services, they are able to increase their crop productivity and incomes by several-fold, while improving the resilience of their lands and livelihoods. Hence, prosperity can be brought about in the tropical dryland.
‘Seed pathology’ means the study of seed diseases and seed transmission of plant pathogens. The term ‘seed’ is used in a restricted sense to include only true seeds. Occasionally, however, ‘the agricultural seed’ has been referred to forsake of comparison. There are two serious objections against the term ‘seedborne diseases’. These are :( 1) Seedborne disease implies that the seed is diseased, which is rarely the case (Baker and Smith, 1966); and, more fundamental than that, (2) Disease is a process. The pathogen can be borne, not the disease. Seed transmission of plant pathogens and its importance were recognized during the 17th and 18th centuries by various workers in different countries of the world. Seed pathology involves the study and management of diseases affecting seed production and utilization, as well as disease management practices applied to seeds. In this paper, three aspects of seed pathology are discussed: research innovations in detection of seedborne pathogens and elucidation of their epidemiology; advances in development and use of seed treatments; and progress toward standardization of phytosanitary regulations and seed health testing methods. The application of nucleic-acid based detection methods in seed health testing has been facilitated by integrating conventional or real-time PCR with other technologies (e.g., BIOPCR, IMS-PCR, MCH-PCR). PCR-based methods and pathogen marker technologies are being applied to epidemiological research on seedborne pathogens, e.g., seed transmission mechanisms, the influence of external biotic and abiotic factors on seed transmission, and tracking progress of seed-transmitted pathogens. Seed treatment use is discussed in terms of the revolutionary expansion in seed-applied insecticide use, impacts of new fungicide active ingredients, and the effects of some seed treatments on crop physiology. International seed trade has been affected significantly by changing phytosanitary regulations, not always based on science. Efforts are underway to revise phytosanitary regulations to reflect pest risk analysis outcomes and to develop standards for seed health testing methods that facilitate safe and efficient international trade in seeds.
Cereals; A) Black Stem Rust of Wheat
diseases are each caused by a particular species of the “rust” fungus, Puccinia. Rust fungi all produce similar
Symptoms:-There are three rust diseases that occur on wheat: stem rust, leaf rust and stripe rust. These
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disease symptoms on the host plants and have similar requirements for infection. The diseases get their name from their appearance on the plant (fig. 1). Infection can occur on any above-ground plant part, leading to the production of pustules that contain thousands of dry yellow-orange to reddish-brown or black spores. These pustules give the appearance of “rust” on the plant. Stem rust occurs primarily on stems but can also be found on leaves, sheaths, glumes, awns and even seed. Symptoms begin as oval to elongate lesions that are generally reddish-brown in colour. In the late stages of the disease, erumpent pustules produce numerous black sooty spores. Severe infestations with many stem lesions may weaken plant stems and result in lodging.
Causal Organisms:-Stem rust (also known as black stem rust) is caused by Puccinia graminis f.sp. Tritici.
It is primarily a disease on wheat, though it can also cause minor infections on certain cultivars of barley and rye. Leaf rust is caused by Puccinia recondita f. sp. tritici (now known as Puccinia triticina). Like the stem rust fungus, this pathogen is primarily a problem on wheat, however it may be weakly pathogenic on some cultivars of barley and some species of goatgrass and wheatgrass. The third rust disease, stripe rust, is caused by Puccinia striiformis. This pathogen also affects barley, rye and over 18 species of grasses. Economic losses from stripe rust are generally restricted to wheat and barley crops.
Life Cycles:-Rust fungi have complex life cycles, which may require two specifically different host plants
and up to five different spore stages. Rust diseases that require two host plants to complete the life cycle generally have what is known as an economic host and an alternate host. The economic host, in these diseases, is wheat. The alternate host is typically a weed or native plant (fig. 4). For example, barberry (Berberis vulgaris) is the primary alternate host for the stem rust fungus. Infection of barberry results in circular, yellow-to-red coloured pustules on the underside of the leaves. Spores (aeciospores) produced on barberry plants infect wheat, and another type of spore (basidiospores) produced on wheat infects barberry plants. Although both hosts are necessary to complete the full life cycle, epidemics on wheat can develop rapidly as spores (uredospores) produced on wheat can cause auto-infection (spores infect the same plants on which they were produced). This spore stage of the life cycle is known as the repeating stage and is responsible for the rapid development of disease outbreaks. Several plants have been identified as alternate hosts for leaf rust, including meadow rue, rue anemone and clematis. Stripe rust is not known to have any alternate hosts. In this case, the rust fungus has a modified life cycle with only one required host.
Disease Cycle:-Stem rust is a warm-temperature disease that develops optimally between 65 and 85°F;
however the disease can occur at temperatures between 59 and 104°F. Leaf rust develops optimally at temperatures between 59 and 71°F, and the disease will progress until temperatures are above 80°F. When conditions are optimum for disease development, infection is completed in 6-8 hours and uredospores capable of causing secondary spread of the disease are produced in 7-10 days. Uredospores are relatively limited in the length of time they remain viable compared to other spore stages produced by rust fungi. Yet they are extremely efficient in spreading disease because they are produced in large quantities and are easily spread by wind. In locations with mild winters, uredospores have been found to survive year-round. Therefore, alternate hosts and some spore stages are required to complete the pathogen’s life cycle but are not needed for the initiation of new infections each ear.
Disease Management:-The presently recommended varieties in most of the wheat growing zones are
Cereals; B) Grain Smut of Jowar
This is the most destructive of all smuts, causing extensive damage to grain yield all over the country. It is also present in the United States of America, Italy, Africa, Sri Lanka, Burma and several other countries. In India it is widely prevalent in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh and to a less extent in other states. It is found on rain- faid as well as irrigated fields. Most of the cultivars of the crop are susceptible. In certain areas, it is reported to cause damage up to 25 % of grain yield.
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Symptoms :-The disease becomes appear only at the time of grain formation in the year, at which time
smut sori are formed in the place of healthy grains. The size of the sori varies with the variety, but generally they are larger than the normal grain. They are oval to cylindrical, 5-15 mm long and 3-5 mm broad, and dirtygrey in colour. Most of the grains of an infected ear are replaced by the smut sori, but in some cases only a few grains are smutted.
Causal Organism:-The fungus, S.sorghi, is present in the form of sorus, which has a tough wall and a
long, hard central tissue, called columellum. The columellum is made up of host tissues, including parenchyma and Vascular elements; it is bulbous at the base and sometimes branched at the apex. A dense mass of black to dark-brown, smooth, thick walled spores, which are mostly single and measure 5-9 µ in diameter, fills the space between the columellum and sorus wall. The spores germinate in water or one per cent sugar solution, producing four celled promycelium and a single sporidium from each cell. Sometimes germ tubes are produced instead of sporidia. Physiologic specialization is common in S.sorghi. Races are differentiated on the basis of morphology, sorus characters and pathogenecity. At least three sex groups have been differentiated and eight races of the fungus have been made, involving crosses between sphacelotheca sorghi and s.cruenta, some of which gave rise to new races. Eight races have been recognised.
Disease Cycle:-The Spores are borne on the surface. They germinate with the seed and infect the seeding
by penetrating through the radicle or mesocotyl to establish systemic infection that develops along the meristematic tissues. At the time of flowering, the fungal hyphae get converted into spores released from the bursting of the sori. The spores remain dormant on the seed until next season. The smut spores remains viable indefinitely, depending on how they are stored, in some cases they may be viable even after 10 years. The fungus infects the host. Mono-sporidial lines are not pathogenic.
Disease Management:-Since the spores are seed-borne externally, this smut is easily controlled by
treating the seeds. Seeds are immersed in ½ % formalin for 2 hours and dried quickly. Alternatively they are treated in 0.5-3% CuSO4 solution for 10 minutes, then dried and sown. Sulphur at the rate of 4 gm per kg of seed or organo mercurials at 2 gm per kg of seed has been found effective.
Cereals; C) Ergot of Bajra
This disease is reported from many parts of Africa and India. In our country, it is on the increase during the past few years in Maharashtra and Karnataka, Causing severe damage to the crop and poisoning the cattle which consume the ergot along with the straw. During 1967-1968 it had broken out in proportion, affecting most of the newely introduced hybrid Bajra varieties in all areas.
The disease occurs only at the time of flowering. Small droplets of light, honey- coloured dew – like substance exude from infected spikelets. A few to many such spikelets may be found in a group, which darken with age, and small greyish or dark brown sclerotia are formed. These sclerotia replace the ovary or grain and are about 0.5-1 cm in length, 1-2 mm in diameter and are hard and woody.
Causal Organism:-Claviceps microcephala (Waller) Tul.
(Subdivision: Ascomycotina; Order; Hypocereales; Family: Hypoceraceae) The fungus attacks the ovary and grows profusely producing masses of hyphae which go to form the sclerotium. Small conidiophores on which the conidia are produced are formed from the hyphae. The conidia are hyaline, one called and lunate, measuring 13-25 x 3-6 µ. The honey dew like droplets in the affected ears is full of conidia, which germinate to produce secondary smaller conidia. When the sclerotial bodies are cut open, the central portion appears whitish and is made up of hyphal strands. The sclerotia germinate in about a month’s time, producing one or two stripes on which the asci are produced. The sclerotia contain ergotoxin, which when consumed in excess quantities is toxic to animal life, but in proper quantities has some medicinal value.
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Disease Cycle:-The fungus spreads from plant to plant in the conidial stage. The honey dew mixed with
the inoculum attracts insects, which help in the dissemination of the conidia and spread of the disease. The sclerotial bodies help the fungus to perpetuate from season. They remain in the soil or plant debris and germinate during the next season to ascus stage, which can cause infection of the spike, producing the conidial stage. Thus the disease cycle is completed. However, even the conidia retain their viability for year or more. The sclerotia are viable longer when buried deep in the soil. The fungus infects other species of pennisetum and also the grass Cenchrus ciliaris and C.setigerus, producing ergot. The role of these collateral hosts in perpetuation of the pathogen is significant.
Disease Management:-Since the pathogen is mainly air-borne, affecting the spike only at the time of
flowering, it is difficult to control. The only method is to develope resistant varieties, and work needs to be done in this direction. Sprays with Ziram or a mixture of copper oxychloride and Zineb (1:2) applied 2-3 times at weekly interval, starting prior to earhead emergence gives good protection. Ten per cent salt solution separates out the sclerotia and fragments from the grains.
Pulses; A) Wilt of Pigeon Pea
Wilt is the worst disease of red gram in India, causing severe damage wherever the crop is grown, especially in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Utter Pradesh, Bihar, and Tamil Nadu. Though the exact damage caused by wilt in India is not known, it becomes extensive in those years that the disease appears in epiphytotic proportion. This disease has been investigated extensively since the early years of this century, a summary of which is presented here.
Symptoms:-The plants show signs of gradual wilting, as if affected by drought about five to six weeks after
sowing. The leaves of affected plants turn yellow prematurely, the foliage droops and within three or four days the plants wilt. Within six weeks plants of all ages may be affected. The disease first appears sporadically on a few plants, later spreading in concentric circles to nearby plants. In severe cases large patches of wilted plants can be found frequently resulting in more than 50 % dead plants in field. When diseased plants are pulled out and examined in the field, black lesions of varying size but mostly linear with irregular margin may be seen on the stem and tap roots. The lesions and discolouration are deep seated and this becomes clear if the bark is peeled off, revelling the stem and root tissues in the affected portions as deeply black. The symptoms spread upwards along the stem to several inches above ground level and downwards along the tap and lateral roots, causing dry rot. Often only one side of the stem and root system is affected, in which case the lesions are found only on that side of the plant. This type of infection clearly reflects the vascular nature of the disease.
Causal Organism:-Fusarium Oxysporum f.udum (Butler) Snyder and Hansen.
(Subdivision: Deuteromycotina; Order: Moniliales; Family: Tuberculariaceae) The fungus is mainly confined to vascular tissues and is present both inter-and intra-cellularly. If a diseased stem or root, particularly from near the soil surface, is examined in transverse section under a microscope, the large number of fungal hyphae can be seen mostly in the vascular bundles. Also, the host cells can be found to be discoloured brown. The fungus can be cultured on simple media, growing profusely to produce both micro-and macro-conidia. The micro-conidia are small, elliptical or curved, thin walled, septate with 3 to 4 septa, measuring 15-20 x 3-5 µ. Chlamydospores (resting spores) often are formed in culture media and sometimes within the host tissue. They are spherical to oval, thick walled, single or in chains of two or three, terminal or intercalary. All three types of asexual spores germinate readily in water to form germ tubes and Chlamydospores survive adverse climatic conditions and remain viable for several years. The perfect stage is unknown.
Disease Cycle:-The fungus is a facultive parasite remaining in the soil saprophytically for long periods of
time. It attacks the roots with germ tubes arising from micro or macro conidia or Chlamydospores, reaching the vascular tissues to establish and multiply rapidly, and causing wilting of parts or all of the plant. There is evidence that the infection is primitively through the fine root. Once the fungus is established in the vascular
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bundles, it is provided with plenty of nutrients for rapid activity, killing the plant within a few days. When the crop is harvested the plants are cut at the stem base, leaving the entire root system and stubble to infest the soil. As a saprophyte, the organism continues to multiply in soil and remains their until the next crop is sown. If a crop is sown every year in the same field the fungus builds up, increasing the disease incidence. The fungus withstands adverse conditions, including a pH range of 4.0 – 9.0, at soil temperature as high as 350 c.
Disease Management:-Like other soil borne fungal diseases, wilt of red gram is difficult to control.
Several cultural Method’s are suggested for checking the severity of the disease. For example, heavy doses of green leaf manure in trenches between rows covered with soil encourage the activity of antagonistic an organism, which suppress the causal fungus and reduces its activity. This has been successfully practised in many parts of India. The fundamental aspects of role of antibiosis in this method have also been investigated to some extent. Long crop rotations which avoid red gram for 3-4 years help to starve the fungus and reduce its virulence, even though it is capable of living saprophytically in soil for several years. The disease is less severe when red gram follows tobacco in the same field. Further studies to understand the microbiological and biochemical aspects of this phenomenon are needed. Some reductions in the incidence of disease in potculture experiments due to application of minor elements, boron, zinc or manganese, have been reported by a few workers, but when this method is extended to the field it has not given any encouraging results.
Pulses; B) Yellow Vein Mosaic of Bean
Vegetables; A) Late Blight of Potato
Late blight of potato, caused by the fungus Phytophthora infestans, it attacks both tubers and foliage during any stage of crop development.
Symptoms:-The first symptoms of late blight in the field are small, light to dark green, circular to
irregular-shaped water-soaked spots. These lesions usually appear first on the lower leaves. Lesions often begin to develop near the leaf tips or edges, where dew is retained longest. During cool, moist weather, these lesions expand rapidly into large, dark brown or black lesions, often appearing greasy. The lesions are not limited by leaf veins, and as new infections occur and existing infections coalesce, entire leaves can become blighted and killed within just a few days. The lesions may expand down petioles and stems of the plant. If infected leaves are examined in the early morning or during other cool damp weather, a white mildew growth may be seen on the underside of those leaves. A pale green to yellow border is often present around the lesions. Plants severely affected by late blight have a distinctive odour resulting from the rapid breakdown of potato leaf tissue. A similar odour may occasionally be detected after chemical vine-kill or a severe frost. Positive identification of late blight can be made by microscopic examination of samples from infected leaves or tubers collected during damp cool weather when the fungus is forming spores. The fungus can be quickly identified by the distinctive size and shape of spores and spore-bearing stalks. Late blight infection of tubers is characterized by irregularly shaped, slightly depressed areas of brown to purplish colour of variable size on the skin. These symptoms may be less obvious on russet and red-skinned cultivars. A tan to reddish-brown, dry, granular rot is found under the skin in the discoloured areas, extending into the tuber usually less than one half inch. The extent of the rotting in a tuber depends on susceptibility of the cultivar, temperature, and length of time after the initial infection. The margin of the diseased tissue is not distinct. The margin is marked by brown finger-like extensions into the healthy flesh of the tuber. Severely infected tubers may display extensive rot, often accompanied by soft rot. The mildew-like growth of the causal fungus may appear on the surface of tubers.
Causal Organism: - Phytophthora infestans
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Phytophthora infestans is an oomycete that causes the serious potato disease known as late blight or potato blight. (Early blight, caused by Alternaria solani, is also often called "potato blight"). Late blight was a major culprit in the 1840s European, the 1845 Irish and 1846 Highland potato famines. The organism can also infect tomatoes and some other members of the Solanaceae.
Disease Cycle:For late blight to occur, there are three conditions that must be present: 1. abundant inoculum (late blight spores), 2 a susceptible host (potatoes, tomatoes, or related specie), and 3. The environmental conditions favourable for late blight. The pathogen survives from one year to the next on infected tubers. These can be cull tubers discarded as storage sheds are emptied for packing or processing, tubers left as volunteers in the field, chips from seed cutting operations or infected tubers planted as seed. All serve as sources of inoculum. Wind and air currents will move the spores over a wide area. Late blight spores have been known to travel over 40 miles under the right conditions. A small amount of inoculum can contaminate a large area very quickly. Because of the widespread infections in 1995, we are assuming inoculum will be present that are potential sources of inoculum for the 1996 growing season. Environmental conditions must be conducive to disease development before the disease can develop. Humidity needs to be 90% or greater for spore development, conditions which can occur frequently inside the potato canopy. Temperatures below 780 F are necessary for the spores to develop. Free moisture must be present on the plant in order for the spores to germinate and infect a new plant. Infection requires cool days to keep evapotranspiration low and frequent rainfall or overhead irrigation or a combination of both to provide long periods of free moisture over a 3-5 day period of time. To recap, the following environmental conditions are necessary for late blight development: TEMPERATURES HUMIDITYMOISTUREBelow 780 F 90% and higher free moisture for 8-12 hours
Disease Management:The following guidelines will help reduce the risk of a late blight infection. Dispose of cull potatoes and seed chips properly by burying to a depth of 2 feet before any potatoes emerge in the spring. Control volunteer potato plants as they emerge. Plant certified seed that is free of late blight (from late-blight-free production areas). Do not over-irrigate. Monitor irrigations carefully. Do not irrigate when free moisture will stay on leaves for an extended time, i.e. try to water during late night and early morning so foliage can dry quickly during daytime hours. Avoid having wet spots in fields. Shut off the inner two towers of centre pivot systems. Apply protectant fungicides. Apply the protectant when foliage is 6" high and again just before row closure. Apply additional fungicides according to the disease risk.
Vegetables; B) Damping off disease of vegetables
Symptoms/signs:Because damping-off is caused by several different Organisms on many different plants, symptoms of disease vary. Emerging or established seedlings fall over and die rapidly, collapsing even when soil moisture is adequate. When dug up and inspected, the plants are soft, dark collared and usually disintegrating. Seeds may fail to emerge at all. When infected with Pythium spp., the stems and roots of seedlings are black and rotted. Often the entire root system is soft and the outer root sloughs off. Seedlings infected with Rhizoctonia solani have reddish brown to black lesions on the stem and roots. Stems are often girdled or become watersoaked and soft, causing the plant to fall over. Infections of small seedlings are often difficult to distinguish from Pythium rot without laboratory confirmation. Thielaviopsis basicola causes a black root rot that may affect all or part of the root system. The fungus produces large dark spores on the root that form as a short
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column that breaks into several individual spores. These spores are diagnostic and can be easily seen under low power of a microscope.
Causal organisms:Rhizoctonia solani, Thielaviopsis basicola, Pythium spp.
Damping off is caused by several different pathogens under different environmental conditions: Pythium damping-off - collapse of the seedling stem or a pre-emergence rot; blackened rotted roots on older seedlings; usually in warm, wet soils. Rhizoctonia damping-off- reddish brown to dark brown lesions on the stem or roots; in warm to cool soils. Thielaviopsis damping-off- black root rot of seedlings; plants may grow out of disease but remain stunted compared to healthy plants; usually in cool soils.
Disease Cycle:Damping-off is caused by several soil borne fungi or fungal-like organisms commonly found in soils that may or may not have been previously cultivated. None of these organisms needs a wound or natural opening to enter the plant, but wounding can increase the incidence of disease. When environmental conditions are right and a susceptible host is present, Pythium produces motile spores that can infect a plant root within a few minutes. These spores germinate to produce hyphae, microscopic tubular filaments that are the “body” of the organism. The hyphae grow into the roots, killing plant tissue as they grow. Pythium also produces sexual spores in the roots or in the soil that are resistant to adverse environmental conditions such as drying or cold temperatures. They can survive in a dormant state for months or years. These spores germinate and produce hyphae in the presence of a susceptible host when there is plenty of moisture. The hyphae penetrate the host root and begin the infection process. Rhizoctonia does not produce spores but grows on dead organic matter in the soil from which it can invade the roots and hypocotyls of susceptible hosts. Once the host tissue has died, Rhizoctonia can continue to live on the dead organic matter or may form survival structures from its hyphae called sclerotia that can remain in soils for a long time without a food source or moisture. Hyphae from germinating sclerotia infect host plants. Thielaviopsis produces asexual spores that can survive in the soil for many years. When there is adequate soil moisture and cool soil temperatures, the spores germinate, probably in response to exudates from susceptible host roots, and produce hyphae that invade host plant roots.
Disease Management:Many diseases, such as the early blight disease of potato and tomato, occur each year despite all Preplanting precautions. For such diseases, applications of fungicides and bactericides to the growing plants may be needed. The best way to apply these materials is as sprays before the disease occurs. Often a wetting agent such as liquid detergent or soap (1/2 teaspoon in 1 gallon) is added to obtain more thorough wetting and coverage of the foliage. Apply sprays to the point of run-off on a 7- to 10-day schedule. This maintains a fresh or effective covering of fungicide and protects the new growth. Fungicides and bactericides currently recommended for use on vegetables is given in the Illinois Pest Control Handbook which is updated each year.
Vegetables; C) Black rot of onion
Symptoms:Black mold occurs on both onions and garlic. The fungus is first evident at the top or sides of the bulb where disease or injury has caused an opening in the skin. The fungus develops between dry, dead outer scales and the first inner fleshy scales of the bulb. Invaded scales initially become water soaked. Under dry conditions diseased scales dry and shrivel, and black masses of spores are visible between outer scales. Diseased scales may also be invaded by soft rot bacteria, causing the whole bulb to deteriorate into a watery soft rot.
Causal organisms: - Aspergillus Niger
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(Class: Eurotiomycetes, Subclass: Eurotiomycetidae, Order: Eurotiales, Family: Trichocomaceae, Genus: Aspergillus, Species: Aspergillus niger) Aspergillus niger is a filamentous fungus that has many applications in biotechnology. A. niger is considered to be one of the most essential of those microorganisms. This fungus is responsible for Aspergillus crown, pod and seed rot of peanut and black mould of onion.
Disease Cycle:The onion black rot pathogen overwinters in many parts of the grape vine and is able to over winter on the ground. In addition, pathogen can overwinter for at "least 2 years within lesions of infected shoots that are retained as canes or spurs."4 Rains release the overwintering spores(Ascospores) that form within mummies on the ground and can be blown by the wind.4 Some of the mummies on the ground can have a significant discharge of ascospores that begins about 2 to 3 weeks after bud breaks and will mature 1-2weeks after the start of bloom.4 A second type of spore (Conidia)can also form within cane lesions or mummies that have remained within the "trellis, and these are dispersed short distances (inches to feet) by splashing rain drops."4 Infection occurs when either of the spore types land on green grape tissue and tissue remains wet for a "sufficient length of time, which is dependent on temperature."4 The period that these overwintering spores are allowed to cause infection depends on the source. If there is a large source for infection, infection will set in early. In the presence of moisture, these ascospores slowly germinate, taking 36 to 48 hours, but eventually penetrates the young leaves and fruit stems (pedicels). The infections become visible after 8 to 25 days. When the weather is moist, ascospores will be produced and released throughout the entire spring and summer, providing continuous primary infection.
Disease Management:There are no chemicals for the direct control of black mold. Research indicates that a good fungicide control program for foliage diseases will reduce the incidence of black mold. Storage and transit temperatures below 55°F (12.8°C) and as low as 33°F (0.6°C) are recommended to suppress black mold development. Handling of bulbs to avoid bruising also reduces injury and invasion sites for the fungus.
Oil Seeds; A) Tikka Disease of Groundnut
Symptoms: - All the aerial parts of the plants are attacked. In case of attack by Cercosporidium
personatum, the leaf spots are circular (1-6 mm dia.), slightly pale in the beginning, turning to dark brown to black necrotic areas. There is no halo around the young spots. While in case of Cercospora arachidicola, the leaf spots are circular to irregular in outline (1-10 mm in dia.) and tend to coalesce late, surrounded by yellow halo from the very beginning. The spots are reddish brown to black on upper surface, while on lower surface; these are light brown in colour. Cercosporidium personatum appears 30 days earlier than the other one and more dangerous as it produces many more spots and rate of its buildup is much more rapid.
Casual Organism:-Cercosporidium personatum, Cercospora arachidicola Disease Cycle:The fungus survives in the conidial or mycelial state on diseased plant debris and on the shells of the seed. Conidia are disseminated through wind. These germinate by germ tubes and cause infection directly or through stomata. Warm and moist weather conditions encourage development of epidemics. Optimum temperature is 24-28ºC with a period of 3 days of high humidity. The incubation period is 8-15 days.
Disease Management:1. Plant disease debris should be burnt. 2. Seed dressing with a suitable fungicide like Benlate and Vitavax (2 gms/kg of seed). 3. Foliage spray with Bordeaux mixture (4:4:50), Dithane M-45 (0.2%), Benlate and Bavistin (0.1%) gives good results. 4. Early maturing and spreading type varieties are less liable to attack of the disease.
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Oil Seeds; B) Head Rot Disease of Sunflower
Symptoms:Head rot-A soft, light-brown rot of the spongy tissue at the back of the head extends some distance down the stalk. As the disease develops only the fibrous strands on the back of the head remain, and the seed-bearing face generally falls away under the weight of the seed. Large, black irregular sclerotia develop below the seed layer and around the seeds. The sclerotia are about the size and density of the seed and therefore difficult to grade out.
Disease Management:As all sunflower cultivars are susceptible to this disease, it is best to avoid planting sunflowers and other susceptible crops in sclerotia-infested soil for from four to six years. Sow seed that is free from sclerotia ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oil Seeds; C) Angular Leaf Spot of Cotton
Symptoms: The disease appears on different parts of cotton plant, both in seedling and mature plant
stage. The disease first appears on leaves, which appear water soaked, turn black and dry up often leaving the young seedling green with a black tip. Most of such plants die. In less severely affected plants, points on leaves and stem become water soaked and enlarge into angular reddish spots about 1 mm in diameter. The spots often coalesce and the leaf gradually yellows and drops. Lesions on young stems sometimes cause girdling and referred to as black arm. In older stems the spots may be callused off and leave open cankers. Yellowish bacterial exudate is common on lesions, in moist weather. On bolls, water soaked lesions appear, which coalesce to form irregular, large, brown, sunken areas. Bolls infected when young, may drop prematurely. Older bolls when infected may become distorted and the lint may be discoloured.
Causal organism: Xanthomonas axonopodis PV malvacearum Disease Cycle: The bacteria enter the mature seed through the basal end of the chalaza. They over winter
in this manner and as contaminants on the surface of the seeds or in the lint attacked to it. Volunteer seedlings are the chief source of primary inoculum when cotton is planted after cotton. Windblown soil, rain and irregular water are the means of dissemination. Insects have little importance. Epidemiology: High humidity and moderate temperature (28 °C) favours the development of the disease. Primary infection is favoured by 30 °C and secondary infection is better at 35 °C. Presence of moisture is very important for the first 48 hours. Dry and hot weather retards disease development.
Disease Management:1. Use of healthy seed from healthy plants.
2. Delinting seeds with concentrated sulphuric acid then floating the delinted seeds in water and removal of the floating seeds. 3. Disinfections of seeds with 1000 ppm streptomycin sulphate solution overnight. 4. Destruction of diseased plant debris, and 5. Killing of volunteer seedlings.
Ornamentals; A) Powdery Mildew of Roses
Symptoms:On garden roses, new shoots in the spring are dwarfed, distorted, and covered with a whitish gray mildew growth. On expanding leaves, mildew first appears on the upper leaf surface as irregular, light green to reddish, slightly raised blister like areas. The typical dense, powdery white growth (mycelium, conidiophores, and spores) of the mildew fungus soon appears. Severely infected young leaves become curled or irregularly twisted and are usually covered with enlarged, whitish gray, powdery, mealy, or felt like patches of the fungus. These leaves often turn reddish purple, under the mildew growth, then yellow, dry, and drop
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prematurely. Older, infected leaves are not usually distorted, but develop round-to-irregular areas covered with the flourlike mildew growth. On highly Susceptible rose cultivars, the buds, young stems (canes), thorns, peduncles, fruit sepals, and even flower Petals may become infected and entirely covered with the typically dense, flourlike growth. Flower petals may be discoloured, dwarfed, and may fail to open properly; the flowers may also die early. The growing tips and flower buds may be malformed and killed, but the death of an entire plant is rare. Plants can be severely stunted if they are heavily infected early in the growing season. Rose tissue becomes more resistant to infection as it ages.
Causal Organism: - Sphaerotheca pannosa
Powdery mildew is caused primarily by the fungus Sphaerotheca pannosa var. rosae. The disease occurs wherever roses are grown. Powdery mildew is very destructive, affecting plants grown out of doors and in greenhouses. Under conditions that are favourable for disease development, powdery mildew can cause complete defoliation. Epidemics can be expected any time during the growing season when the rainfall is low or absent, the days are warm and dry, and the nights are cool and damp.
Disease Cycle:The powdery mildew fungus overwinters as dormant mycelium in bud scales and rudimentary leaves within the dormant buds. Infected buds break open in the spring and develop into systemically infected shoots. The fungus sporulates on these shoots, producing large numbers of microscopic spores (conidia) in chains that are carried by the wind or other means to healthy rose tissue where they infect the upper and lower leaf surfaces, thus initiating a new disease cycle. The fungus survives in the Midwest in the winter as cleistothecia, which appear as black specks embedded in the mealy or felt like mildew growth on rose stems, thorns, and fallen leaves. The minute cleistothecia are formed within the mycelial mat at the end of the growing season. During warm and humid weather in the spring, a cleistothecium absorbs water and cracks open to discharge a single small sac or ascus containing 8 spores (ascospores). The microscopic ascospores are carried by the wind or splashing rain to healthy rose tissue and are capable of causing infection.
Disease Management:Vaporized sulphur gives excellent control of powdery mildew in greenhouses. A Slurry made of 1 pint of water and 1 pound of wettable sulphur (not flowers of sulphur) is sufficient for each 90,000 cubic feet of greenhouse space. The slurry is painted on two steam pipes in each house, covering sections 3 feet long and leaving equal intervals unpainted. Applications should be made regularly twice a week. If steam is unavailable, the sulphur may be vaporized in small homemade or commercially available vaporizers using light bulbs or small heating elements as a source of heat (Figure 6 and 7). One vaporizer should be used for each 1,000 to 1,500 square feet of greenhouse space. Flowers of sulphur (not wettable sulphur) should be used in the vaporizers. The vaporizers should be kept on day and night, with the greenhouse vents open no longer than necessary for proper ventilation. Excessive heat in the vaporizer must be avoided since the fumes of burning sulphur are highly toxic to raise foliage. For homemade vaporizers, a 60-watt bulb should be used. Weaker bulbs will not melt the sulphur. Stronger ones cause the sulphur to ignite. Commercial vaporizers come equipped with bulbs of the proper size. Burned-out bulbs should be replaced by the same size bulb.
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