In News: Weeks after a mystery disease hit the paddy crop causing “dwarfing” of the plants in Punjab and Haryana, the scientists at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) decoded the mystery blaming it on ‘Southern Rice Black-Streaked Dwarf Virus’ (SRBSDV), named after Southern China where it was first reported in 2001.
- This is the first time that SRBSDV has been found in Punjab.
- The SRBSDV is transmitted by white-backed plant hopper (WBPH) in a persistent circulative and propagative manner.
- In addition to rice, SRBSDV also infects different weed species as nymphs of WBPH can transmit the virus more efficiently as compared to adults.
- Long-distance transmission of this virus may occur through WBPH migrating with the typhoons and strong convection winds.
- There was no corrective measure for the viral disease, farmers should regularly monitor the crop for the presence of WBPH.
- Many farmers in Punjab and Haryana have been complaining about stunted rice plants for the past 20-25 days.
- The height of the stunted plants showed a reduction from 1/2 to 1/3rd of the normal plants.
- These plants had shallow roots and could be easily uprooted.
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Source: Indian Express