Rice blast disease in Wayanad

A fungal infection affecting paddy called Rice blast, is affecting farmers who had grown “Manuvarna rice”.

Highlights

  • Manuvarna rice is a brand-new rice selection, that Kerala Agricultural College has launched across more than 250 acres in Wayanad district.
  • This new brand rice was cultivated by president of Cheekkallur Padashekhara Samiti, Kesava Marar, on 70 acres of rented land after a study showed that this brand had given larger yields as compared to standard rice varieties.

The blast illness

The blast illness is caused by the fungus Pyricularia oryzae. It is non-systemic in motion. The spores of the fungus is expected to have been launched from hosts such as Echinochloa crusgalli and Purple nutsedge, which are abundantly current in paddy fields, bunds, as well as on sides of irrigation channel of affected space. It was probably resulted in an elevated focus of spores in the air.

Favourable conditions for the blast illness

Relative humidity of more than 93% and rainfall of around 5 mm per day are the favourable predisposing elements through mid tillering stage of the crop for blast illness.

Rice Blast Fungus

Rice Blast Fungus is also known as Magnaporthe grisea, rice rotten neck, blast of rice, rice seedling blight etc. It is a plant-pathogenic fungus and model organism, causing serious disease in rice. M. grisea comprises of a cryptic species complex containing two biological species which have clear genetic differences. Members of M. grisea complex can also infect other cereals like rye, wheat, barley, and pearl millet. The disease caused by the fungus is called blast disease or blight disease.

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