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Sheath blight

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This disease has recently assumed seriousness in NE region. The disease causes spots or lesions mostly on leaf sheath, extending to the leafblades under favourable conditions. The lesions are large, oblong with grayish white center and brownish red or purplish red margin. In advanced stages, sclerotia are formed on the lesions, which are easily detached. In severe cases, all the leaves of a plant are blighted resulting death of the plant. This is a soil borne disease.
The disease is caused by Rhizoctonia solani. The fungus produces sclerotia, which are dark brown-to-brown, globose and 4-5 mm in diameter.
The sclerotia of the fungus survive in the soil for several months and float to the water surface during land preparation. The slerotia infect the pIants and produce mycelium causing spots or lesions. The disease is destructive in high humidity and warm temperature. Close planting and heavy nitrogen fertilization tends to increase the incidence of the disease.
Control measures of the disease include:
• Growing resistant varieties
• Draining of fields
• Soil drenching with 0.1 % Cerasan wet
Application of Pseudomonas jluorescents as seed treatment (600 g/ha) followed by soil application (2.5 kg/ha)

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Dr.Krishnaveni (DRR)
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