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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

bakanae disease of rice (Gibberella fujikuroi)

Host plants / species affected
Acacia nilotica (gum arabic tree)
Benincasa fistulosa (round gourd)
Cucumis sativus (cucumber)
Ficus carica (common fig)
Gossypium (cotton)
Jatropha curcas (jatropha)
Leucaena leucocephala (leucaena)
Manilkara zapota (sapodilla)
Musa (banana)
Oryza sativa (rice)
Pinus (pines)
Pinus halepensis (Aleppo pine)
Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane)
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)
Solanum melongena (aubergine)
Sorghum bicolor (sorghum)
Vigna unguiculata (cowpea)
Zea mays (maize)
List of symptoms/signs
Fruit  -  lesions: black or brown
Fruit  -  lesions: scab or pitting
Leaves  -  abnormal colours
Leaves  -  fungal growth
Roots  -  soft rot of cortex
Seeds  -  distortion
Seeds  -  lesions on seeds
Seeds  -  rot
Stems  -  discoloration of bark
Stems  -  mould growth on lesion
Stems  -  stunting or rosetting
Whole plant  -  damping off
Whole plant  -  early senescence
Whole plant  -  seedling blight
On rice, G. fujikuroi causes bakanae, foot rot, seedling rot, grain sterility and discoloration (Ou, 1985). Seedlings with bakanae in the seedbed are several inches taller than normal plants, thin and yellowish-green. Affected seedlings are very conspicuous, and are scattered throughout the field. Severely diseased seedlings die before transplanting, and those that survive may die after transplanting. Not all infected seedlings have bakanae symptoms, sometimes they are stunted or they may appear normal.

Yamanaka and Honkura (1978) classified the following types of bakanae symptoms: elongation; elongation then normal growth; elongation, then stunted growth; stunted growth; and no growth.

In crops reaching maturity, infected rice plants show tall, lanky tillers bearing pale-green flag leaves which are conspicuous above the general level of the crop. Infected plants usually have only a small number of tillers and the leaves dry up one after another from below and die in a few weeks. Occasionally, infected plants survive until maturity but bear only empty panicles. White or pink growth of the fungus may be noticed on the lower parts of the dying plants. In Japan, panicles are often infected; these are referred to as pink panicles. Pink panicles are also caused by Fusarium roseum. In India, infected plants developed adventitious roots from the lower nodes (Thomas, 1931). In Japan, the angle of the leaf with the stem was found to be wider in diseased plants than in healthy plants (Imura, 1940).

The symptoms of diseases caused by Fusarium species on other crops are described by Booth (1971).

G. fujikuroi caused withering of shoots resulting in dead heart or white earheads in Imphal, Manipur, India; diseased plants were stunted and white mycelial growth was present at the base of diseased shoots (Singh et al., 1996).
Prevention and control

Chemical Control

In greenhouse tests, a soil drench with difenoconazole gave the best control of bakanae on rice cultivar Basmati-385, followed by benomyl (Ilyas and Iftikhar, 1997). Carbendazim applied as a soil drench also controlled bakanae (Aurangzeb et al., 1998).

Mancozeb and propiconazole applied at the boot leaf stage gave the best control of grain discoloration of rice; G. fujikuroi was one of the fungi associated with grains (Deka et al., 1996). A solution containing Plantpro-45 inhibited growth of conidia suspended for less than 30 seconds. Furthermore, seed rot was controlled without diminishing seedling survival at 10 mg per kg maize seed. Thus, G. fujikuroi can be suppressed and/or controlled at the postinfection stage with Plantpro-45 (Yates et al., 2003).

Seed Treatment

Benomyl, thiram and thiophanate-methyl have replaced now banned seed disinfectants; these chemicals are now used extensively in Japan, Taiwan and Korea. These chemicals are highly effective against bakanae, rice blast and brown spot, with the exception that benomyl is not effective against brown spot (Okata, 1981).

Seed treatment with chitosan decreased the incidence of bakanae, with the degree of control increasing with increasing chitosan concentration (Yu-HanShou et al., 1998). Seed treatment with wettable powder containing ipconazole offered protection against seedborne diseases including bakanae (Tateishi et al., 1998). Seed treatments with benomyl + thiram and thiophanate methyl + thiram were more effective than carboxin + thiram. A drench treatment on seedlings did not provide significant control of the disease (Padasht et al., 1996). Seed soaking for 8 h in a suspension of emisan alone or emisan + streptocycline gave effective control of soil microflora including G. fujikuroi, followed by carbendazim + thiram (Sharma and Chahal, 1996). Seed and spray treatment with tebuconazole and thiabendazole reduced ear rot disease and fumonisins incidence, and enhanced the seed quality parameters under both green house and field conditions (Nayaka et al., 2008).

Biological Control

Four antagonistic bacteria, designated as B-916, 91-2, A-2 and A-3, used in seed soaking gave good control of bakanae and significantly increased yield (Lu-Fan et al., 1999). Seed treatment with biological control agents was more effective than spraying and combining the isolates improved the effectiveness of control (Lu-Fan et al., 1998). On the basis of results from 3 years of field trials in the Philippines, five bacterial strains were reported to consistently reduce bakanae; these antagonistic strains were specific to G. fujikuroi isolates (Rosales and Mew, 1997).

P. fluorescens pure culture used as seed treatment and as spray treatment enhanced the growth parameters of maize and reduced the incidence of G. fujikuroi and the level of fumonisins to a maximum extent (Nayaka et al., 2009). Many Trichoderma isolates have been found that are of great use in the biological control of a wide spectrum of pathogens, including Gibberella spp. (Harman et al., 2004; Scala et al., 2007). Many studies have been conducted with bacterium strains, including Bacillus isolates, that are antagonistic to Gibberella spp. (Gliessman, 2001; Chincholkar & Mukerji, 2007; Khan et al., 2008; Walters, 2009; Hasan, 2010).

There are many biological control products already available and registered abroad against the control of Gibberella species on various crops, but only one biocontrol product has been registered in South Africa for Gibberella control, namely Tri-Cure (Trichoderma harzianum isolate MIT04), registered by MBF International cc (information obtained from Pesticide Act 36 of 1947, 2010b). Many biocontrol formulations are undergoing registration field trials at present in South Africa (Gerber, 2008; Gerber, 2010; Dagutat Science, 2010; Biological Control Products, 2010; Plant Health Products, 2010). There is significant potential for the control of Gibberella on maize with biological agent formulations registered for use in crops like wheat, barley, oats, soybean and other legumes (Hasan, 2010).

There have been few estimates of losses due to bakanae disease, caused by G. fujikuroi (Ou, 1985). There are reports of yield losses of 20% in Hokkaido, Japan, as high as 40-50% in the Kinki-Chugoku region of Japan, 15% in eastern districts of Uttar Pradesh, India, and 3.7-14.7% in northern and central Thailand (Ou, 1985). The disease is commonly seen in many parts of South-East Asia but the percentage of infection is usually small: a 1-13% yield loss was estimated on rice variety IR42 in Laguna province, the Philippines (Nuque et al., 1980).

In 1993 in Karnal, Haryana, India, bakanae incidences of 4.17 and 96.25% caused grain losses of 3.04 and 95.45%, respectively, on inoculated rice cultivar Taraori Basmati (Sunder et al., 1997).
Related treatment support
Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Ahmed, F.; Saleem, M. Y.; Hussain, S. I.; CABI, 2013, English language
Ahmed, F.; Saleem, M. Y.; Hussain, S. I.; CABI, 2013, Urdu language
Thailand, Bureau of Rice Research and Development; CABI, Thai language
Pest Management Decision Guides
Gupta, V.; Kumar, S.; Khajuria, A.; CABI, 2018, English language
Chhetri, P.; CABI, 2017, English language
Naeem, M.; CABI, 2013, English language
Naeem, M.; CABI, 2013, Urdu language
Chisunka, B.; CABI, 2015, English language
External factsheets
DPI NSW factsheets, New South Wales Government, Department of Primary Industries, Australia, 2012, English language
PlantVillage disease guide, PlantVillage, English language
Crop Science Extension & Outreach Factsheets, College of ACES, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, USA, English language
Crop Science Extension & Outreach Factsheets, College of ACES, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, USA, English language
DPI NSW factsheets, New South Wales Government, Department of Primary Industries, Australia, 2007, English language
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