New virus attacks brinjal crop

WITHERING CROPS:The brinjal plant that has been infected by a virus at Kosur village in Karur district.

WITHERING CROPS:The brinjal plant that has been infected by a virus at Kosur village in Karur district.

The scientists of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) have noticed a new viral disease in brinjal crop at Kosur village in Krishnarayapuram block of Karur district.

The disease, called tomato leaf curl virus ( begomovirus), came to light when a group of scientists and officials of Horticulture Department made a diagnostic visit to the village a few days ago. The disease has been ascertained by a virologist at the National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) in Tiruchi.

It is said that the virus was transmittef by cotton whitefly ( Bemisia tabaci). It was found on two acres of brinjal (Manapparai local variety), which was about 50 days old. The incident level was around 20 to 30 per cent and the disease is spreading rapidly despite the farmers taking up spraying insecticides regularly.

“The disease, which is noticed on tomato crop, is noticed on brinjal probably for the first time in the region. It has to be quarantined as the virus spreads very fast,” J. Draviam, Senior Scientist and Head, Kirishi Vigyan Kendra, Karur.

Speaking to The Hindu , he said whitefly, which is a sap-sucking insect, might have spread the virus in the region. There was a possibility of noticing the disease in neighbouring Tiruchi district too. The disease would paralyse the plants, thus wiping out any yield.

He said the plants would have shunted growth. New leaves would be reduced in size and wrinkled. The leaves would curl downward. Flowers might appear and they would fall before fruit was set.

Removal and destruction of virus infected brinjal plants was the best way to prevent spreading of the disease.

L. Sornamanickam, Assistant Director of Horticulture, Karur said that information about the disease had been communicated to all field-level officials. Farmers had been advised to destroy the plants, if they were affected.

Mr. Draviam said the occurrence of the disease was communicated to the Centre for Integrated Pest Management Centre in Tiruchi.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 5:17:24 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/new-virus-attacks-brinjal-crop/article8478018.ece