THE Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has confirmed that the mysterious disease resulting in “dwarfing” of rice plants, reported mainly from Punjab and Haryana, has been caused by the Southern Rice Black-Streaked Dwarf Virus (SRBSDV).
About Southern Rice Black-Streaked Dwarf Virus
- The virus is spread by the white-backed plant hopper (WBPH), an insect pest, which injects it while sucking the sap from mostly young plants.
- The Southern Rice Black-Streaked Dwarf Virus (SRBSDV) is spread by the white-backed plant hopper, an insect pest, which injects it while sucking the sap from mostly young plants.
- The virus is specific to the phloem (plant tissues that transport sugar and organic nutrients from the leaves to other parts) and is not transmitted by seed or grain.
- This is the first incident of the viral disease, a double stranded RNA virus that was initially reported in 2001 from Southern China, in Punjab.
- Nymphs of WBPH can transmit SRBSDV more efficiently as compared to their adults. Long distance transmission of this virus may occur through WBPH migrating with the typhoons and strong convection winds. The viruliferous WBPH nymphs and adults may transmit SRBSDV to rice plants at different growth stages.
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