Cultivation of kidney and French beans is impossible without restricting the white stem rot disease.

By: Merikheti
Published on: 09-Jan-2024

White stem rot, caused by the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, is a deadly disease affecting various crops including French beans, kidney beans.


This soil-borne pathogen is an imminent danger to agricultural productivity, contributing to economic losses and compromising food security.White stem rot, also known as Sclerotinia stem rot, is a fungal disease that affects a wide range of crops, with French and kidney beans being especially vulnerable.Understanding the disease's characteristics is critical for developing effective management strategies and reducing its impact on agricultural production.


Symptoms: In order to identify the disease we need to strictly observe the symptoms that appear.Affected plants initially appear as water-soaked lesions on the stems, which are frequently found near the soil surface. As the disease progresses, the lesions turn into soft, white, cotton-like mycelial growths. The fungus produces sclerotia, which are small black structures that help the disease persist in the soil. Infected plants wither, resulting in a significant reduction in total yield.


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Causative Agent:Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, the causative agent of white stem rot, has a diverse host range and can survive in the soil as sclerotia for extended periods of time. These sclerotia function as primary inoculum sources, germinating in response to favourable environmental conditions.The fungus produces airborne ascospores, which are easily spread to healthy plants. Understanding the biology and lifecycle of the pathogen is critical for developing effective disease management strategies.


Life Cycle:Sclerotinia sclerotiorum's life cycle is complicated, involving environmental conditions and host vulnerability. Sclerotia germinate under the right circumstances, generating a mycelium that infects the host plant. The fungus forms apothecia, which are cup-shaped structures that discharge ascospores into the air.These ascospores have the ability to travel long distances, leading to the pathogen's extensive distribution. Understanding this life cycle allows us to forecast illness onset and apply preventative actions.


Major factors affecting the spread of illness

The following factors contribute to the spread of this disease: plant thickness as a result of not eating the plant at the required distance, high humidity for an extended period of time, cold, rainy weather, and temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. Helps with development. This illness. White rot can occur at temperatures ranging from 5°C to 30°C. Sclerotia may persist in soil for few months to seven years, depending on the climatic circumstances. Sclerates in the top 10 cm of soil germinate and spread the illness when exposed to damp circumstances.


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How to control White Stem Rot Disease?

White stem rot must be managed using an integrated approach that includes cultural, biological, and chemical management approaches. Cultural methods that limit disease occurrence include crop rotation, minimising dense plants, and ensuring good soil drainage. The pathogen can be suppressed with biological control drugs such as antifungals. Fungicide-based chemical control can be successful when used to prevent or treat infection in its early stages. However, cautious chemical usage is critical to avoiding resistance development. During blooming, use a fungicide such as Saf or Carbendazim dissolved in water at a rate of 2 grammes per litre. Avoid growing thick crops. Infected crops should be ploughed deep. In severe cases of the illness, a crop rotation of at least 8 years between beans is recommended.


Challenges and future perspectives

Despite progress in understanding and controlling white stem rot, problems persist. The creation of resistant bean types remains a top objective, necessitating advancements in plant breeding and genetic engineering. Sustainable and ecologically friendly measures, such as the use of biopesticides, show promise for disease control in the future. Continued research and collaboration are required to address developing difficulties and preserve the long-term resistance of French bean harvests to white stem rot.


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Summary

White stem rot of French beans, caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, poses a serious danger to world food security. Understanding the symptoms, causal causes, lifespan, and variables influencing its spread is critical for implementing effective management methods. A comprehensive strategy that combines cultural practices, biological control, and the prudent use of fungicides is required. Ongoing research and technical improvements will be critical in creating long-term solutions to mitigate the impact of white stem rot and ensure the production of French bean harvests.