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Plant Pathalogy

Diseases are the most serious constraints to chickpea productivity causing up to 100% losses. Environmental factors and intensity of abiotic stresses are known to compound the occurrence and severity of the diseases. Though many diseases are reported, only a few such as Wilt (Fusarium oxysporum f.sp.ciceri), Dry root rot (Rhizoctonia bataticola), Collar rot (Sclerotium rolfsii), Wet root rot (Rhizoctonia solani), Ascochyta blight (Ascochyta rabiae), Botrytis grey mould (Botrytis cinerea) and Chichpea stunt may cause major losses and prevent farmers from realizing the potential yield of chickpea.

a. WILT (Fusarium oxysporum f.sp.ciceri)
Wilt of chickpea caused by Fusarium oxysporum f.sp.ciceri is one of the most serious diseases in India. Different cultivar of chickpea show wilting at different growth stages and influenced the yield loss with different degree of severity. Generally wilting at early growth stage causes greater loss than that of at later stage. It is typical vascular disease causing xylem browning or blackening. Efficient field, green house and laboratory procedure to evaluate chickpea lines for resistant   to   this   disease   have   been   developed   and standardized. Field screening is generally done in wilt sick plot.
b. Dry root rot (Rhizoctonia bataticola)
Among the several soil borne fungal diseases of Chickpea, dry root rot caused by Rhizoctonia bataticola Taub (Butler) is the most severe diseases particularly in the central and southern zone, where the crop is mostly grown under rainfed condition. Disease generally appears around flowering and podding stage. The first symptom is yellowing and sudden drying of the plants. The tap root become dark brown quite brittle in dry soil and shows extensive rotting resulting in the loss of lateral roots. The lower portion of the tap root is often left in the soil when plant is uprooted.
c.  Collar rot (Sclerotium rolfsii)
Collar rot is generally observed when soil moisture is high and temperature is warm at the seedling stage. Affected seedlings turn yellow and die. The seedlings generally collapsed and show rotting at the collar region and below. This disease is usually problem in area where chickpea is sown after paddy. It is caused by Sclerotium rolfsii.
d. Wet root rot (Rhizoctonia solani)  
The disease occurs in the seedling stage where there is high soil moisture and warm temperature. A distinct dark brown lesion appears above the collar region on the main stem and can extend to lower branches in the older plants. The causal organism is Rhizoctonia solani.
e. Ascochyta blight (Ascochyta rabiae)  
Ascochyta blight is a destructive foliar fungal disease of chickpea. This disease affects all aerial parts of the plant at any growth stage. Initial symptoms appear near the tip of the young shoots and top leaves in the form of circular spots. The lessions are circular on leaves and pods whereas these are elongated on stems and branches. The apical twigs, branches and stems often show girdling and plant parts above girdled portion killed and break off. Lession on pods are prominent and usually circular with dark margins. The causal organism of the disease is Ascochyta rabiae. Screening techniques like pod culture screening technique, cut-twig screening technique, detached leaf screening technique and field screening technique are used to exploit host plant resistance for disease management.
f. Botrytis grey mould (Botrytis cinerea)  
This disease appear regularly every year in moderate to severe form depending upon the environmental conditions in northern states of India. The disease attacks all the aerial parts such as leaves, flowers, pods, branches and stems. Initial symptoms are water soaking and softening of affected plant parts, grey to dark brown necrotic lesions are formed on plant parts which are readily covered with dense fungal growth in the form of sporophores and mycelium. Under wet conditions, the plantparts hidden under foliage are heavily covered with sporophores. The disease can appear at any time during crop growth but most crucial period is February-March.The causal organism is Botrytis cinerea. Growth rooms screening technique I and II and cut twig screening techniques have been developed to screen chickpea germplasm and breeding material.

g. Chickpea stunt
Affected plants are easily spotted in the field by their yellow orange or brown discolouration and stunted growth. Leaflets become small and discolouration is more pronounced in desi types. The most characteristic symptom is phloem browning. The disease is caused by bean (pea) leaf roll virus.

Major disease problems of chickpea in different agro-climatic zones have been identified. Several resistant/tolerant donors for major diseases have been identified and used in development of disease resistant high yielding varieties. Integrated disease management strategies which include use of resistant cultivars, sowing of healthy seeds, modification of cultural practices, judicious use of fungicides and bioagents have been developed for stabilization of yield by mitigating losses due to ravages of diseases.

a) Screening of entries in different trials: In Pathological trials, IVT, AVT 1, AVT 2 entries and national nurseries were screened against major diseases at different locations. The following entries were found resistant to moderately resistant against the respective diseases.

1. Wilt:



BG 3004, Tungabhadra, GL 26054, GNG 1958, GJG 0714, PG 97030, NDG 9-
21, CSJ 592, IPC 2005-62, Phule G 105-10-1, GJG 0504, IC 251907, IPC 2008-
103, GJG 0814, BCP 60, BCP 136, Phule G 9807, IPC 2005-59, JG 2000-07, IPC
2005-74, JSC 35, IPC 2004-68, GAG 0419



HK 05169, IPCK 2005-58, HK 06-152, IPCK 2005-23, IPCK 02 (AVT2), BG
3002, IPCK 113

2. Dry root rot: PG 00110, GL 21107, CSJ 592, H 04-49, IPC 2005-28, BG 3002, IC 269792, NDG 7-702, CSJ 559, IPC 2005-66, NDG 7-702

3. Ascochyta blight : (Rating 3-4) GL 260584, GL 26069

4. Botrytis grey mould: (Rating 3) ICCV 6853, ICCV 96859

5. Chickpea stunt : GLK 26155, BGM 568, HK 06-159, JGK 2006-301, CSJ 303, IPC 2004-52, RSG 959, IPC 2000-6, CSJ 140, CSJD 125, CSJ 313

6. Multiple resistance: BG 3002 (Wilt + DRR) and GL 20654 (Wilt + Ascochyta blight) and IPC 2005-66 (DRR + Ascochyta blight + Stunt)

7. Stable resistance: Following entries showed stable resistance/moderately resistance against different diseases over the years and locations



JSC 35, IPC 2005-74, JG 2000-7, IPC 2004-68, GAG 0419, HK 05-169

Dry Root Rot


NDG 7-702, JSC 37

Ascochyta blight


GL 23094, IPC 2005-66



IPC 2004-52

  • GNG 1581 a multiple resistant variety was released possessing resistant against wilt, Ascochyta blight and stunt.


b) Pathogenic variability: Reaction of 14 chickpea differential genotypes against races of F. oxysporumf. sp. ciceri was evaluated at 9 locations and when compared with the Phillips reaction (1988), indicated the existence of race 2 at Sehore and Jabalpur as JG 31 5 only exhibited resistant reaction which matches with the react ion of race 2 . React ions of these differential genotypes at other locations are very close to race 6, 5, 3 and 1.

c) Disease management: For managing dry root rot, seed treatment with carbendazine+Thirum (1:2) @ 3g/Kg was found superior.

d) Survey and surveillance:Survey for occurrence of chickpea diseases were conducted in States like Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Rajasthan. Following disease reaction were observed in different States:



Range (%)




Dry root rot




Andhra Pradesh

Dry root rot

(upto 100% in certain pockets)


In traces

Collectotrichum blight




Upto 20

Dry root rot








32-40 in variety JG 11



Upto 8

Dry root rot


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Annual Group Meet of All India Coordinated Research Project on Chickpea

  • Date : 29-31 August 2016
  • Venue : ARS, Kalaburagi (Gulbarga)
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