Scientists get new insights on management of paddy dwarfing disease

LUDHIANA, India (12 July). In a recent webinar organized by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), new insights on paddy dwarfing disease were shared among approximately 100 scientists across Asia.

The webinar on “"2023 Webinar on Paddy Dwarfing: Discussion and dissemination of management options", held last July 5, 2023 at the Committee Room of Vice-Chancellor discussed southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV) - the disease's origin, spread, and survival during the off-season. It also emphasized the importance of a comprehensive approach from biological, agronomic, and ecological perspectives. To counter its effects, experts proposed strategies such as intensifying field surveys, standardizing seed treatment, and developing diagnostic tools and monitoring networks.

PAU has formulated an adhoc disease management strategy and urged farmers to exercise caution during paddy transplanting to prevent a recurrence of the problem.

On the other hand, IRRI's Dr. Van Schepler-Luu, leading the Plant Pathology and Host Plant Resistance Group, presented a strategic plan to combat SRBSDV in India. The short-term objectives include: standardizing surveillance methods, conducting field surveys, monitoring genetic diversity, studying virus-vector-host relationships, developing an IPM protocol, and organizing farmer training programs. For the long term, the plan involves breeding for SRBSDV resistance and implementing disease modeling and forecasting techniques.  “I want to use this opportunity to really call for support from all the scientists in India as well as the international experts and scientists to realize this action plan. We call for support from PHI, from the Indian government; from an international funding body to support this plan to  really manage the SRBSDV disease in India,” said Dr. Schepler-Luu.

RRI  is actively involved in One CGIAR Plant Health Initiative (PHI) and one of the components is establishing a regional network for disease and pest monitoring. In August 2022,  an alarming occurrence of SRBSDV  was reported in India for the first time.  IRRI, led by Dr. Van Schepler-Luu and Dr. Gilda Jonson, immediately responded under the support of PHI, and initiated an online workshop on this emerging new disease in India last November 2022.

As last year’s workshop gained interest and importance, this follow-up webinar brought experts on SRBSDV from China and Vietnam to share the management practices that were used to successfully manage the disease in the past.

IRRI coordinates global network researchers to develop a specific interim management package for SRBSDV in India to help local farmers protect their rice fields against SRBSDV.