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About The Late Blight Disease

Context:

Recently, experts from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) had cautioned farmers against the late blight disease attack on potato crop.

Relevance:

GS III: Agriculture

Late Blight Disease: Understanding the Fungal Menace

  • Late Blight disease is instigated by the fungus Phytophthora infestans.
  • It stands as the most critical threat to potato crops, with the potential for rapid crop failure without timely control measures.

Prevalence:

  • Flourishes in humid regions with specific temperature conditions.

Symptoms:

  • Initial signs manifest as small, light to dark green, circular water-soaked spots.
  • During cool and moist weather, these spots rapidly enlarge into large, dark brown or black lesions, often with a greasy appearance.
  • Lesions are accompanied by a pale green to yellow border.

Spread Mechanisms:

  • Infected tubers and soil act as sources of primary infection.
  • Diseased tubers play a crucial role in the persistence of the disease across cropping seasons.
  • Airborne infection is facilitated by sporangia.

Control Measures:

  • Prompt elimination of infected crop residue is essential to prevent disease spread.
  • Destruction of infected tubers and soil is vital for managing the disease’s impact.

-Source: Indian Express


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