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Previously this disease was considered as minor disease, but now it appears in a major form in many rice-growing areas of NE region. spots developed on the uppermost leaf sheaths enclosing the panicle as grey coloured irregular brown margins. The young panicle remains in the leafsheath or emerges only partially. Grains remain unfilled or are discoloured. In severe cases, panicles may rot.
The disease is caused by Acrocylindrium oryzae. The pathogen produces conidia, which are hyaline, single celled and cylindrical in shape.
The fungus survives in the infected plant debris and infects the plant during crop season. The conidia produced on infected plants spread by wind and cause secondary infection. Hot humid weather favours disease development.
Control measures of the disease include:
• Destruction of infected plant debris by burning
• Spraying of 0.2% Dithane M-45 or Dithane Z-78