Crop Protection Section

Introduction

The main thrust of crop protection section research is to reduce the crop yield losses by management of diseases and insect-pests. Moreover, emphasis is on development of effective and eco-friendly crop management practices. The section aims to promote bio-intensive integrated pest and disease management with specific bioagents, organic amendments, cultural practices and enhanced varietal resistance.

Major activities:

  • Survey and surveillance of crop diseases and insect – pests.
  • Screening of genetic stocks under high disease pressure for identification of resistant sources.
  • Evaluation of breeding materials for varietal development.
  • Ecofriendly management of diseases and insect-pests.

Major Research Areas:

1. Disease Scenario
Zonate leaf spot of maize caused by Gleocercspora sorghi was recorded for the first time in Uttarakhand in 2008.

Zonate leaf spot of maize

Zonate leaf spot of maize

Blast and brown leaf spot in rice, Turcicum leaf blight and Banded leaf and sheath blight in maize, blast in finger millet, yellow and brown rusts in wheat are the important diseases in cereals.

 

Leaf blast of rice

Leaf blast of rice

Neck blast of rice

Neck blast of rice

Turcicum leaf blight of maize

Turcicum leaf blight of maize

Blast of finger millet

Blast of finger millet

Banded leaf and sheath

Banded leaf and sheath

Yellow rust of wheat and blight of maize

Yellow rust of wheat and blight of maize

Frogeye leaf spot of soybean, tikka disease of groundnut, Alternaria leaf spot of toria are the major diseases of oilseeds.

Frog eye leaf spot of soybean

Frog eye leaf spot of soybean

Among pulse crops, wilt and root rot in lentil, wilt in pigeon pea, root rot in rajmash and anthracnose in horse gram appear in moderate intensities.

Wilt of lentil

Wilt of lentil

Wilt of pigeon pea

Wilt of pigeon pea

Purple blotch in onion and garlic, early blight, bacterial wilt, buckeye rot in tomato, powdery mildew and wilt in pea, root rot and black rot in cauliflower, angular leaf spot and rust in French bean, bacterial wilt, powdery mildew and anthracnose in capsicum are important diseases of vegetables.

Insect-pests Scenario 

White grub, a polyphagous pest, which devastates a number of rainfed kharif crops, is the most menacing insect of the region and nearly 75 species of this insect have been recorded in Uttarakhand.  
In addition, stem borer and leaf folder in rice and small millets, hairy caterpillar and sucking bug in soybean, leaf miner in garden pea, pod borer in pea and gram, fruit borer in tomato, blister beetle in beans and pigeon pea, aphids in crucifers are other major pests.   

Crop Loss Assessment

Losses caused by major diseases and insects to important crops vary from slight to severe depending on the crop/variety and prevailing climatic conditions. Major pests, like blast and stem borer caused up to 65% and 52% losses, respectively in rice, stripe disease up to 72% in barley, white rot up to 58% in pea, buck eye rot up to 80% in tomato, anthracnose and frog eye leaf spot (combined) up to 30% in soybean and white grub up to 80% in rainfed rice.

Epidemiological Studies

Studies revealed that the temperature of 20-280C combined with RH > 80% is best suited for the development of Exserohilum turcicum in maize (Turcicum leaf blight) whereas minimum temperature of 15-200C along with higher number of days with RH  >90% are contributory factors for the development of blast disease in rice. July to September provide the most congenial environment for the development of these diseases.

Major Achievements

1. Resistant sources

The resistant genotypes were identified in various station, national and international nurseries in different crops. Artificial epiphytotics for blast in rice, turcicum blight in maize, rusts, loose smut and hill bunt in wheat are created to screen genotypes and advanced breeding lines thoroughly. Over the years, these evaluations have helped in identification of suitable high yielding genotypes with resistance/tolerance to major diseases and resulted in release of the varieties. 

2. Genetic Stocks Registered

VL 798 (Reg. No. INGR 03007, IC 296431) Wheat - an immune stock to hill bunt disease, VL 639 (Reg. No. INGR 03011, IC 296480) Wheat - a resistant stock to loose smut have been registered with NBPGR. VSR 8 (Reg. No. INGR06002, IC546941) Rice - a source of blast resistance have been registered with NBPGR, New Delhi.

Eco-friendly management of diseases

  • Indigenous Trichoderma harzianum isolates either singly or in combinations, delivered as seed treatment, soil drenching and with fortified FYM, resulted in significant reduction in root rots of French bean and lentil, damping-off of cauliflower and white rot in pea. 
  • Three isolates of Trichoderma harzianum have been identified as effective sclerotial parasites. These isolates significantly reduced seedling rot and white rot of pea.
  • Soil solarization along with incorporation of organic manures (FYM or poultry manure) prior to mulching, and seed treatment with Trichoderma isolates reduced damping-off in tomato.
  • Bio-fumigation with brassicaceae plants such as broccoli and toria were found effective in reducing root rot of cauliflower.
  • Soil and foliage application of composts and compost extracts prepared from poultry manure and Urtica sp. provided high suppression of Rhizoctonia root rot and angular leaf spot diseases of French bean.
  • Organic amendments with Ageratum, Parthenium and Urtica parviflora were found effective and resulted in significant reduction in the root rot incidence of cauliflower. 
  • Effective management of diseases using plant part extracts such as Oxalis latifolia and Cannabis sativa extracts for hill bunt of wheat and walnut extract for stripe disease of barley was observed. 

Management of Insects 

  • Melia azedarach (Batain) seed kernel extract 10% was found to be effective against sucking bugs of French bean and soybean. Batain powder is used for the management of cutworms in chilies. Chemical insecticide, flubendiamide is found effective against pink borer, Sesamia inferens in rice. Deltamethrin is effective against blister beetles in pigeon pea and indoxacarb against Spodoptera litura in chili and tomato. 
  • Diaretiella rapae is found to parasitize cabbage aphids, Brevicoryne brassicae to an extent of 8.4 to 12.6% in the field. Campoletis chlorideae is the major parasitoid of borer, Helicoverpa armigera in field conditions. 
  • VL White grub Beetle Trap-1, an efficient and eco-friendly light based insect trap is found very effective in attracting and trapping Scarabaeid beetles. Beetles were trapped from second fortnight of May to September with a peak period of July. Anomala dimidiata is the predominant species followed by Holotrichia longipennis and H. seticollis. 
  • A bacterium, Bacillus cereus strain WGPSB2 and Brevibacterium frigoritolerans HSB 15 are found effective against white grubs and thus mass multiplied, formulated in talc and used in white grub management. It is recommended to mix the talc based bacterial formulation in farmyard manure and subsequently in the fields.
  • Female pheromone of whitegrub, Holotrichia seticollis is isolated, identified and being used for the effective management of the pest.

VL whitegrub beetle trap

VL whitegrub beetle trap

Microscopic view of Bacillus cereus

Microscopic view of Bacillus cereus

Pollinator management

  • Apiary with Apis cerana and A. mellifera hives are established and used for planned honey bee pollination especially in cross pollinated crops.
  • About 20 species of non-Apis bee pollinators are identified and documented from the region.
  • Conservation of pollinators by managing their habitat is being practiced

Facility available

  • Isolation, identification and maintenance of plant pathogens/insect pathogens.
  • Artificial phenotyping for resistance to rice blast pathogens.
  • Facility for mass production of important insects and bio-control agents viz. insect predators and pathogens like Trichoderma spp., Bacillus cereus.
  • Extraction and isolation of insect pheromones/ volatiles through Air Entrainment.
  • Apiary with Apis cerana and Apis mellifera bee hives
  • Spawn (mushroom seed) production of different edible mushroom species viz. Agaricus bisporus, Pleurotus sajor-caju, Pleurotus florida, Hypsizygus ulmarius.
  • Compost preparation using short method of composting for button mushroom production.

List of Equipments:

  • BOD Incubator
  • Incubator shaker
  • Laminar air flow
  • Research Microscopes
  • Compound Microscope
  • Fluorescent microscope
  • Horizontal electrophoresis unit
  • Vertical electrophoresis unit
  • PCR Thermocycler
  • Deep freezer (-200C)
  • Refrigerators
  • Double distillation unit
  • Horizontal autoclave
  • Vertical autoclave  
  • Electronic weighing balance 
  • Hot air-oven 
  • Micro oven 
  • Refrigerated centrifuge

Page Last Updated On : 11-07-2017