May 30, 2024

Foot rot disease

  • The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, has developed biocontrol agent Trichoderma asperellum (2% WP) to combat ‘foot rot’ disease, commonly in Basmati rice varieties.
  • This biocontrol agent will help farmers to manage the deadly ‘foot rot’ or ‘bakanae’ disease that plagues the crops of Basmati rice.
  • At present, seedlings are treated with Trichoderma harzianum before sowing and transplantation. Seeds are also treated with fungicides such as Sprint 75 WS (carbendazim + mancozeb) before sowing.
    • These chemical treatments are harmful for the soil, and can be toxic for consumers of the rice.


  • Foot rot is a fungal disease that affects Basmati rice crops particularly at the seedling stage, though it might also cause infection after transplantation in case infected seedlings are transplanted.
  • It is caused by the fungus Fusarium verticillioides, a soil-seed borne pathogen which spreads the infection through the root of the plant, and eventually leads to the colonisation of the stem base.
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