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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

udbatta disease (Balansia oryzae-sativae)

Host plants / species affected
Cynodon dactylon (Bermuda grass)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)
Eragrostis (lovegrasses)
Leptochloa chinensis (Chinese sprangletop)
Oryza sativa (rice)
Paspalum dilatatum (dallisgrass)
Paspalum scrobiculatum (ricegrass paspalum)
Pennisetum glaucum (pearl millet)
Secale cereale (rye)
Setaria italica (foxtail millet)
Sorghum bicolor (sorghum)
List of symptoms/signs
Inflorescence  -  discoloration panicle
Inflorescence  -  twisting and distortion
Leaves  -  abnormal colours
Leaves  -  abnormal forms
Leaves  -  necrotic areas
Seeds  -  discolorations
Seeds  -  distortion
Seeds  -  shrivelled
Whole plant  -  dwarfing
Spikes infected by E. oryzae become somewhat mummified with partially formed buds and, in time, become darker in colour and more stromatic as conidial acervuli develop on the surface. When wet, these conidial acervuli appear gelatinous and produce a saucer-shaped fructification bearing a palisade of conidiophores. Infected plants are usually stunted and occasionally, the white mycelium and conidia form narrow stripes on the flag leaves along the veins prior to panicle emergence. The flag leaf and sheath of infected tillers are sometimes slightly distorted and the upper leaves (including the flag leaf) may appear silvery.

Infection is systemic and all tillers are involved. Symptoms first become evident at the time of panicle emergence. While still within the sheaths, panicles become matted together by the mycelium of the fungus. They emerge as single, small, cylindrical rods, covered with white mycelium. In time, they become hard and sclerotium-like, bearing many black dots. An erect, greyish-white axis emerges from the leaf sheath in place of a normal inflorescence.
Prevention and control

Cultural Control and Sanitary Methods

Sowing either very early (last week in May) or very late (first or second week of July) rather than at the usual time (second or third week of June) reduced the incidence of Udbatta disease in rice variety J1 in Jeypore, India (Mohanty, 1964).

Host-Plant Resistance

Some resistance to Ubdbatta disease has been noted in screening trials for multiple rice diseases in India (Shivandanappa and Govindu, 1976; Mohanty, 1964).

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:

In field plots containing inoculated plants, carbendazim reduced disease intensity on rice cv. IET 1444, followed by aureofungin (a fungicidal antibiotic), iprobenfos and mancozeb. Aureofungin and benomyl increased grain yield of rice cv. Kalinga while benomyl, followed by carbendazim and aureofungin, increased that of cultivar IET 1444 (Indrasenan et al., 1981). For further information on chemical control of Udbatta disease, see Pandurangegowda et al. (1986). Soil treatments with carbendazim + thiram alone followed by quintozene (without any seed treatment) were better than seed treatments alone (without any soil treatment) in reducing the incidence of Udbatta disease and increasing yield in rice (Padhi and Mohanty, 1984).

Udbatta disease, caused by E. oryzae, infected 9-11% of rice panicles in Bombay, India, and 5-20% in Yunnan, China (Ou, 1985). The disease is considered important in some areas of Bangalore, causing direct and indirect losses of between 1.75 and 3.69% for different rice cultivars (Shivandanappa and Govindu, 1976). Govindu (1969) reported 10% infection on the rice cultivar IR-8.

Levels of earhead infection are usually 2-3%, but in years when the disease is severe, losses of up to 11% are common in susceptible varieties (Mohanty, 1964). Kamat and Patel (1951) reported that between 9 and 11% of the plants in northern areas of Kanara district, Bombay State, were infected. Tai and Siang (1948) recorded 5-30% earhead infection in damp fields in the Kuming Lake area of China. Preliminary disease surveys conducted in northern Sierra Leone during the 1977 cropping season indicated that this is a potentially major disease (Fomba and Raymundo, 1978).

Overall, Udbatta disease causes significant yield losses in areas where it is endemic, but its occurrence is generally sporadic and of minor importance (Webster and Gunnell, 1992).
Related treatment support
External factsheets
TNAU Agritech Portal Expert System factsheets, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, 2015, English language
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