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Journal of Biotechnology

& Crop Science

5(6): 41-46, 2016

An eco-friendly approach for management of sheath blight of rice through

integrated application of bio-agents, organics and resistance inducing chemicals
Durga Prasad, Arun Kumar
Received: 17 Janaury 2016 Revised Accepted: 12 March 2016

Sheath blight of rice incited by Rhizoctonia solani Kuhn is a potential threat to rice cultivation causing yield loss ranging
from 1.2 to 69.0%. Host resistance against sheath blight is not available so far. Fungicidal approaches for its control are
damaging to the environment. Eco-friendly approaches have attained importance in modern agriculture to curtail the hazards
of extensive use of toxic chemicals for disease control. The present study was undertaken to assess the disease severity,
percent disease incidence (PDI) and yield parameters against sheath blight of rice through different combinations of
treatments in the field during 2013 and 2014. Among the eco-friendly approaches assessed against sheath blight of rice, soil
application of combination of Trichoderma harzianum + Pseudomonas fluorescens + Farm Yard Manure prior to
transplanting followed by foliar spray of zinc sulphate (0.5%) + lime (0.25%) at maximum tillering stage showed the
maximum reduction in sheath blight severity (50%), percent disease incidence (55.46%) and higher grain yield (28.55%)
over the control. The ears and 1000 grain weight showed positive correlation with grain yield. The treatments possessing soil
application of bio-agents + FYM/ vermi-compost prior to transplanting showed greater number of tillers per hill
comparatively to no application in the soil.

Key Words: Pseudomonas fluorescens, Resistance inducing chemicals, Rhizoctonia solani, Sheath blight,
Trichoderma harzianum


Sheath blight of rice caused by Rhizoctonia solani has not been found (Mew and Rosals 1986). No
Kuhn (Thanatephorus cucumeris (Frank) Donk) is a commercial varieties in India are resistant to the
potential threat to rice cultivation causing extensive disease (Roy 1993). Fungicide application is
damage to the crop in almost all the rice growing effective, but their use is being discouraged because it
tracts of India. Yield losses due to this disease are is known to cause serious threat to environment,
estimated to be ranging from 1.2-69.0% (Naidu imbalance in the ecosystem and human health
1992). The disease is particularly important in hazards. Eco-friendly approaches have attained
intensive rice production systems (Savary and Mew, importance in modern agriculture to curtail the
1996). The disease is soil borne and the pathogen hazards of extensive use of toxic chemicals for
survives in the form of mycelia or sclerotia for longer disease control (Homer 1988). Biological control of
period either in soil or in rice stubbles. Use of R. solani could be achieved by either promoting the
resistant cultivars has not been successful to control native antagonists by using organic amendments or
the disease because adequate level of host resistance other cultural practices or by introducing alien
antagonists (Singh et al 2003). Host nutrition is one
Durga Prasad ( )
Department of Plant Pathology, BAC, Bihar Agricultural of the important factors determining the severity of
University, Sabour the disease as well as the effectiveness of bio-control
Email: agents (Lucas and Collet 1988). Adequate
Arun Kumar information on combined effect of all these agents is
Directorate of Planning, Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour

J of Biotech & Crop Sci (2016) 5(6): 41-46

not available. So, to evolve a sustainable eco-friendly The experimental field was ploughed twice and soil
measure which can control to sheath blight was brought to a fine tilth plots of size 3x2m were
effectively, in the present investigation an attempt has prepared. On completion of field preparation and
been made to elucidate the influence of integrated leveling, the mixture of bio-agents + FYM/ vermi
application of bio-agents, farm yard manure, vermi- compost was applied to each plot as per dosages
compost and resistance inducing chemicals against mentioned above. Two weeks after amending plots
sheath blight of rice, under field conditions. with mixture of bio-agent + organics, 25 days old
Pusa Basmati-1 seedlings were transplanted in the
MATERIALS AND METHODS plots at a spacing 20x15cm. Each plot also received
NPK @ 80:40:20 kg/ha. The crop was sown in the
The experiment was conducted with 8 treatments month of July and harvested in the month of
replicated thrice under randomized block design. The November in both years. Controlled irrigation was
treatments were assessed against sheath blight using given uniformly throughout the cropping season.
Pusa Basmati-1 as a test variety under field Plots were given irrigation at an interval of 20 days.
conditions during Kharif, 2013 and 2014 at Mandan
Bharti Agriculture College (MBAC), Saharsa. The Resistance inducing chemicals (Z ZnSO4 and Borax)
treatments consisted of soil application of and valida mycin 3L (Sheathmar) were sprayed in
Trichoderma harzianum (106 CFU/g), Pseudomonas respective plots either one or two stages of crop i.e.
fluorescens (105 CFU/g), Farm Yard Manure (FYM) maximum tillering and boot leaf stages. The disease
@ 15 tonnes/ha, vermi-compost @ 6 tonnes/ha; spray severity was recorded with the help of randomly
of Borax (20%B) @ 0.2 %, ZnSO4 (21% Zn) @ 0.5% selected five hills in a plot. The selected hills were
+ Lime @ 0.25% and validamycin 3L @ 0.25% at tagged for identification. These tagged hills were
maximum tillering stage (MTS) and boot leaf stage taken for recording observations on disease severity
(BLS). The treatments viz., T1- Soil application of with the help of 0 to 9 rating scale of standard
Trichoderma harzianum (Th) + Pseudomonas evaluation system (SES) for rice (IRRI 2002).
fluorescens (Pf) + FYM, T2- Soil application of Th +
Pf + ver mi-compost, T3- Two foliar sprays of ZnSO4 The percent disease incidence was calculated as per
+ Lime at MTS & BLS, T4- Two foliar sprays of following equation-
Borax at MTS & BLS, T5- Soil application of Th + % Disease
Number of sheath blight
infected plants X 100
Pf + FYM followed by foliar spray of ZnSO4 + Lime incidence =
Total number of plants
at MTS, T6- Soil application of Th + Pf + FYM
followed by foliar spray of Borax @ 0.2% at MTS, The percent disease index (PDI) was calculated as per
T7-Treated control: Two foliar sprays of Valida mycin following formula-
3L at MTS & BLS) and T8- Untr eated control (water Sum of all numerical rating
spray) wer e assessed against sheath blight under field PDI = Total number of rating x X 100
Maximum grade
conditions. The bio-agents (Th and Pf) formulation
were mixed thoroughly in FYM and vermi compost
On the basis of above observations the per cent
@ 0.2% and spread as a layer (6" thick) under shade.
disease control (PDC) was calculated according to
It was covered with rice straw. Water was sprayed on
following equation-
the top to make the FYM moist. It was incubated
(approx. 25 to 320C) for 15 days. The air-dried PDI in control PDI in treated X 100
mixture of bio-agents + FYM/ vermi compost was PDC =
PDI in control
containing very high population of bio-agents and
used directly for the soil application.

J of Biotech & Crop Sci (2016) 5(6): 41-46

The crop was harvested in second week of November friendly approaches assessed against sheath blight,
and threshed manually. The thousand grain weight the treatment T5 resulted in minimum disease
and ten ears weight were recorded from individual severity (48.15%) and incidence (23.83%) which was
plot and randomly selected grains & ears. Percent significantly lower than other treatments. It was also
yield increase was calculated by the following at par with 39.26% severity and 18.50% incidence
formula- noticed in T7 (treated control: Two foliar sprays of
Yield under protected Valida mycin 3L at maximum tiller ing and boot leaf
Yield under unprotected
% yield Increase = X 100 stages). Soil application of combination of bio-agents
Yield under protected
+ FYM/ vermi compost or spray of resistance
The data (disease incidence, disease severity, number
inducing chemicals at MTS + BLS also reduced the
of tillers per hill, ten ears weight, yield and 1000 sheath blight significantly over the untreated control.
grain weight) recorded during present investigations
The average disease severity and incidence observed
(Table 1 & 2) were statistically analyzed and untreated control (T8) during the both year were
calculations were made after applying the test of
96.30% and 53.50%, respectively.
significance for the treatment means. The data taken
into percentage were first transformed into angular
The results of the experiment are accordance to
values and then analyzed for test of significance with
earlier findings that integration of organic
the help of computer. amendments and fungal antagonists (Th) against
sheath blight has synergistic effect on the effectivity
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION of Th. The maximum reduction in disease severity
Effect of integrated treatments on percent disease (48.07%) and incidence (32.78%) were recorded with
severity and incidence: During both the crop season FYM + Th (Khan and Sinha 2006). The field trial
it was observed that all treatments (Table 1) showed with cv. IR-50 revealed that sheath blight was
significant reduction in disease severity and disease controlled by Validamycin 3L @ 0.3% and
incidence over the untreated control. Among the eco- Carbendazim @ 0.1% (Devi and Mary 1986).

Table 1 Effect of integrated application of bio-agents, organics and resistance inducing chemicals on sheath
blight of rice.
Average disease Incidence (%) Average disease severity (%)

2013 2014 Pooled % reduction over 2013 2014 Pooled % reduction over
control (T8) control (T8)
37.67 40.33 39.00 70.37 73.33 71.85
T1 27.10 25.39
(37.80)* (39.39) (38.59) (57.18) (58.96) (58.07)
38.33 41.33 39.83 68.89 71.85 70.37
T2 25.55 26.93
(38.22) (39.96) (39.08) (56.13) (58.25) (57.19)
40.33 41.67 41.00 91.11 86.66 88.89
T3 23.36 7.69
(39.41) (40.19) (39.80) (73.02) (69.06) (71.04)
41.33 42.33 41.83 92.59 92.59 92.59
T4 21.81 3.85
(40.00) (40.52) (40.25) (77.63) (77.08) (77.36)
22.67 25.00 23.83 46.67 49.63 48.15
T5 55.46 50.00
(28.36) (29.89) (29.12) (43.05) (44.74) (43.89)
37.33 39.33 38.33 71.85 74.81 73.33
T6 28.36 23.85
(37.65) (38.80) (38.22) (58.06) (60.78) (59.42)
17.33 19.67 18.50 37.78 40.74 39.26
T7 65.42 59.23
(24.51) (26.18) (25.34) (37.64) (39.57) (38.60)
52.33 54.67 53.50 97.08 95.56 96.30
T8 0.00 0.00
(46.38) (47.68) (47.03) (81.89) (80.16) (81.03)
5.76 6.12 4.27 12.09 12.68 9.01
*Figures given in parentheses are angular transformed values.

J of Biotech & Crop Sci (2016) 5(6): 41-46

Validamycin has curative and protective effects blight, the highest weight (36.33g) of ten ears was
against sheath blight of rice (Devi et al 1987). Soil obtained in T5; it was at par with 35.50g noticed in
types, Ph, nutritional levels and organic amendments T2 and significantly higher than other treatments
influence the efficacy of Trichoderma harzianum for except T7. The ten ears weight obtained in untreated
managing to sheath blight of rice (Ashraf and Sinha control was 33.50g.
2005). The foliar application of Cu and B was found
to be able to reduce fungal disease infestation in Grain yield: Among the eco-friendly approaches
MR219 rice cultivar and subsequently increase rice assessed against sheath blight, the treatment T5
yield (Liew et al 2012). Application of recommended resulted in maximum yield (32.63 q/ha) with 28.55%
dose of macronutrients (N, P & K) and micronutrients increase in yield over control. It was significantly
(Zn, S and Fe) increased incubation period and higher than grain yield obtained in other treatments
quantity of phenols with decreased the sheath blight except treatment T7 which resulted in 34.12q/ha grain
(Prasad et al 2010). Silicon, copper and zinc yield with 31.67% increase in yield over control. The
applications reducing sheath blight disease severity lowest increase of 9.21% was obtained in treatment
and increasing rice yield (Khaing et al 2014). T4 in which two foliar sprays of borax @ 0.2% was
done at MTS & BLS. The grain yield found in
Effect of integrated treatments on yield parameters: untreated control was 23.31q/ha.
Observations were taken on number of tillers per hill,
ten ears weight, grain yield and 1000 grain weight 1000 grain weight: As per average of both the crop
(Table 2). seasons, it was observed that the highest weight
(25.40g) of one thousand grains was obtained in the
Tillers per hill: The average number of tillers per hill crop wher e combination of bio-agent + FYM was
recorded in treatments in which combination of bio- applied in soil prior to transplanting followed by
agents + FYM/ vermi-compost applied in the soil spray of combination of zinc sulphate + lime at MTS.
prior to transplanting was significantly higher to It was significa ntly superior to other treatments but at
number tillers obtained in treatments with no par with 25.22 g weight of 1000 grains obtained in
application of bio-agents + organics. As per results of treatment T7 in which va lida mycin was sprayed at
Kharif 2013 and 2014, the highest average number of MTS & BLS. The weight of 1000 grains in untreated
tillers (13.83) per hill was obtained in treatment T2. It control was 23.14g.
was at par with average number of tillers per hill
observed treatments T1 (13.40), T5 (13.40) and T6 The findings of present investigation are quite in
(13.32). The average number of tillers per hill conformity with the reports of earlier workers. Soil
obtained in treatments without combination of bio- application of bio-agents (Th) and soil amendment
agents + organics were 11 (T3), 10.95 (T4), 10.97 with FYM 1% + Saw dust 1% showed the maximum
(T7) and 11.30 (T8). reduction in sheath blight severity, percent disease
incidence and higher grain yield over the control
Ten ears weight: As per average of both the crop (Surulirajan and Kandhari, 2005). Application of bio-
seasons, the weight (38.33g) of ten ears was obtained agent Pseudomonas fluorescens as soil treatment for
in crop sprayed with validamycin at MTS & BLS was managing rice sheath blight, all the methods of
significantly higher than other treatments. Among the application significantly reduced disease severity and
eco-friendly approaches assessed against sheath incidence as compared to control and significantly

J of Biotech & Crop Sci (2016) 5(6): 41-46

Table 2 Effect of integrated application of bio-agents, organics and resistance inducing chemicals on rice yield
parameters (tillers per hill, ten ears weight, grain yield and 1000 grain weight).

No. of tillers per hill Ten ears weight (g) Yield q/ha 1000 grain wt (g)

2013 2014 Pooled 2013 2014 Pooled 2013 2014 Pooled 2013 2014 Pooled
T1 12.87 13.93 13.40 34.67 35.00 34.83 28.15 28.08 28.12 17.10 24.37 24.33 24.35
T2 13.60 14.07 13.83 35.33 35.67 35.50 28.33 28.25 28.29 17.61 24.40 24.43 24.42
T3 11.00 11.00 11.00 35.00 35.00 35.00 25.90 25.98 25.94 10.14 23.80 23.47 23.63
T4 10.73 11.17 10.95 34.33 34.00 34.17 25.75 25.60 25.68 9.21 23.63 23.70 23.67
T5 12.93 13.87 13.40 36.00 36.67 36.33 32.93 32.31 32.63 28.55 25.67 25.14 25.40
T6 12.87 13.77 13.32 34.67 35.00 34.83 28.32 28.45 28.39 17.88 24.37 24.23 24.30
T7 10.93 11.00 10.97 38.00 38.67 38.33 34.28 33.94 34.12 31.67 25.37 25.07 25.22
T8 11.13 11.47 11.30 33.33 33.67 33.50 23.56 23.05 23.31 0.00 23.23 23.05 23.14
1.68 1.96 1.13 1.92 1.85 1.15 3.59 3.52 2.87 0.95 0.82 0.55

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