BLIGHT DISEASE OF BAMBUSA BALCOOA ROXB. : A POTENTIAL THREAT TO VILLAGE BAMBOO GROVES OF DIMAPUR DISTRICT IN NAGALAND STATE


Jitu Gogoi
Department of Life Science & Bioinformatics, Assam University- Diphu Campus
  Diphu, Karbi Anglong, Assam, India

Robindra Teron
Department of Life Science & Bioinformatics, Assam University- Diphu Campus
  Diphu, Karbi Anglong, Assam, India
&
 Ajit K. Tamuli
Department of Life Science & Bioinformatics, Assam University- Diphu Campus
Diphu, Karbi Anglong, Assam, India


Abstract

Bamboo is an important resource with potential to improve livelihood security and economy both in rural and urban areas. Bambusa balcooa Roxb. is a versatile bamboo species which is widely used in uncountable purposes in every walk of the peoples of  Dimapur district of Nagaland but day by day its productivity diminished due to blight disease. Considering the seriousness of blight disease on the important bamboo species, a pathological study was carried out in 18 bamboo growing localities of Dimapur district of Nagaland during 2009- 2011. The present paper aimed to study the symptomology, isolation of causual organism and calculate the Percent Disease Incidence (PDI). Disease was invariably recorded in all surveyed areas and Fusarium semitectum Berkely & Ravenel was isolated from blighted B. balcooa and later confirmed as a pathogen of blight disease in B. balcooa.

Keywords:  Dimapur, Bamboo, Fusarium semitectum


1.Introduction
Bamboo is more than a resource to many people in the rural setting of the country and North-Eastern region of India in particular. Bamboo, once called the Poor Man’s Timber, is now considered as ‘Wonder Plant of 21st Century’. Bamboo is nature’s wonderful gift to mankind since time immemorial and most important timber substitute items among the rural communities of the world. In North-Eastern region of India is found 16 genera and 90 species of bamboos that spreads over an area of 29,396 Km2. (Anonymous, 2005). Bamboo is found extensively in Nagaland state of North east India. Around 22 species have been identified which are spread all the over Nagaland, It occurs as predominant grass in parts of the districts of Dimapur, Peron, Mon and Mokokchung. About 5% of the growing stock of bamboo of the country is in Nagaland which is about 4, 48,000 hectares (Chakraborty Sujit, 2013). Various species of bamboo are cultivated by indigenous people of Nagaland for their domestic and commercial uses.  Among these, Bambusa balcooa is common bamboo species locally known as Oti (Ao community of Nagaland) is widely cultivated and used for various purposes by ethnic peoples of Dimapur district of Nagaland.  This species is highly preferred bamboo species for house construction, scaffolding, making ladders and props for small bridges and various ethno-religious purposes. The shoot is edible in nature with sweet taste and a delicious fermented food items locally known as Kharisa is widely prepared from young bamboo shoot and it is very popular among the peoples of Nagaland. It is also used for making attractive furniture, Agarbatti sticks and in bamboo wood chip industry. Large quantity of this bamboo species is also consumed in pulp and paper industries. Besides, rural economy of this region is also related with this important bamboo species and many rural people livelihood depends on bamboo and its products. So, bamboo can be considered as a backbone of rural economy for the peoples of Dimapur district of Nagaland.

However, insect pests and diseases significantly diminish the growth and quality of bamboo as well as in new bamboo shoot production. B. balcooa is susceptible to many diseases, among these blight is considered as the most serious disease (Gogoi et al., 2013). Blight disease of bamboo was firstly reported from Bangladesh (Gibson, 1975 and Rahman, 1978) where high rate mortality of Bambusa spp. has occurred due to blight disease.   Jamaludin et al., (1992) described the sympatomology and percent disease incidence (PDI) of blight on Bambusa nutans in coastal belts of Orissa. The occurrence of   blight disease was also reported from Kerala (Mohanan, 1994). Mortalility of new culms of B. tulda due to Culm rot and bamboo blight disease were reported from Dimapur district of Nagaland caused by Fusarium semitectum (Gogoi et al., 2013). Borah et al., (2010) was studied the blight Symptom and percent disease incidence (PDI) of blight on Bambusa tulda in various district of Assam. The groves of B. balcooa in Dimapur district of Nagaland has found to affect by blight disease and it is one of the major factor in diminishing the production of bamboo in this region. Review of literature does not show any report on blight diseases of Bambusa balcooa in this region.  Considering the harmful effects of the blight diseases, a study was undertaken to emphasize the incidence of bamboo blight, symptomology and isolation causual organism from blight affected B. balcooa in Dimapur district of Nagaland.

2. Objectives
Through this paper, an attempt is made to analyze the incidence of bamboo blight, symptomology and isolation casual organism from blight affected B. Balcooa in Dimapur district of Nagaland.

3.Material and methods
The investigation was carried out during 2009- 2011 in different bamboo groves of Dimapur district of Nagaland state to study the disease incidence, symptomology and causal organism of blight disease of B. balcooa. Roving surveys were conducted in 18 localities viz., Gowotao, Seithekema, Thilixu, Vetoro, Aovimti, Chekive, Darogapatar, Ahoto, Kashiramgaon , Eralibil, Nagarjan, Kuki, Dolong, Kacharigaon, Dubagaon, Naharbar, Senjum and Zami of Dimapur district of Nagaland and selected clumps of healthy and blighted bamboos from the groves were marked for all the new culms that appeared in 2009. Bamboo groves were monitored throughout the growing season and blight symptoms were recorded. The final assessment of blight incidence was calculated using the following formula:

Percent incidence = nd/ N x 100

Where, 'nd' is the total number of culms/ clumps affected and ‘N’ is the total number of culms/ clumps observed in clumps of studied area (Mohanan, 1994).
Diseased samples of B. balcooa were collected from all localities of studied areas and brought to the laboratory in sterilized polythene bags and stored in refrigerator to avoid secondary infection. The transition zones between healthy and diseased portion of culm-tissue were taken to isolate the associated fungus. Small pieces of sample were cut, washed thoroughly in distilled water, surface sterilized for 2 to 3 minutes in 0.35 percent sodium hypochlorte (NaOCl), washed in sterile distilled water and aseptically transferred on to Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA) medium. The PDA was prepared as per standard methodology (Riker and Riker, 1936). Bacterial contaminations were prevented by incorporating 2.6 mg streptomycin per 200 ml PDA medium just before pouring to the plates at about 400 – 500 C temperature. The plates were incubated in darkness at 270 C and examined periodically till 12 days. Pure culture were transferred to slant containing PDA medium and stored in refrigerator for further study.

The isolated fungus was identified up to species level on the basis of their microscopic and macroscopic characters and with the help of reference book containing identification keys (Leslie & Summerell, 2006; Booth, 1971).  The isolated and identified fungus from disease samples were confirmed through standard Pathogenicity test (Koch’s postulates, 1882).

4. Results and Discussion

4.1Symptoms of disease
Bamboo blight can be recognized from distant in the bamboo clumps by the presence of shortened and deformed culm showing varying degrees of die back. Retarding the growth of Culm, withering of young tissue and partial or complete death of growing culm due to infection can be referred as bamboo blight.

Blight symptoms of B. balcooa have been noticed in the month of October. Disease symptoms were observed on full grown newly produced clums attained height of 8-10 meter. Initially clums sheath were affected as brown necrotic areas which were spread on the whole clum sheath. Affected clum sheath were loosely covered and started to decay still attached with clum. After died of apical clum sheath, infection appeared on immature clum of green tissue which later discoloured. Initially, clum tissue became light orange coloured and then turned brown. Living green tissue became brown when it was dead. Die back symptoms was progress downwards up to certain height about 10 ft. from tip. Ground portion of the infected culms were remain healthy up to several years and living parts never matured as healthy ones. Blighted apical clums were erect upwardly without any lateral branches and could be noticed from distant in affected clumps (Fig. 1). Infection was progressed downwards as V -shaped starting from nodes (figure- 2). Older infected zone was differed from newly infected zones and newly infected zone was light orange coloured while mature infected portion turned brown in colour. Die back symptoms also progressed downwards as uniformly or in stripe (Fig 3). Few living green strip and dead brown strip was occurred alternately on infected culm internodes. Lateral buds were remaining healthy at living parts of the node. Both type of die-back was not progressed up to the ground in blight infected culms. After 5-6 months, many insect whole, decaying areas and white fungal mycelium were observed at the apical dead areas of culms (Fig.4). Gradually, deformation of blighted culms was started from apical region up to blighted node. Epichormic branches were noticed at the living ground portion. Growth of Apeospora fungus was seen on older and died blighted clums.







4.2 Isolation of causual organism
Isolation of causual organism was done from blighted B. balcooa samples were collected from 18 localities of studied area using PDA medium. Isolation result of fungi from blighted B. balcooa samples revealed that Fusarium semitectumBerkeley & Ravenel produced from all the inoculums of diseased samples only a few samples produced Aspergilus niger with mixture of F. semitetum.  Total 96% fungal isolate was F. semitectum whereas only 4% isolates identified as Aspergilus niger. Isolation of A.niger was extremely rare and therefore it was discarded considering as air born weed fungus. F. semitectum was maintained at PDA slants for pathogenecity test.

The pathogenecity tests of Fusarium semitectum were done on laboratory, potted and field condition where all artificially inoculated culms showed blight symptoms as seen in natural conditions.  Re-isolation of fungus from artificially inoculated culms revealed the presence of F. semitectum which caused blight disease on newly produced B. balcooa culms. From the pathogenicity tests, it was confirmed that F. semitectum is the pathogen of Blight disease in B. balcooa groves of Dimapur district. Although F. semitectum has been concerned in causing several diseases such as canker of walnut (Seta et al. 2004), pod rot, seed rot and root rot of Beans (Dhingra & Muchovej 1979), corky dry rot of cantaloupe (Carter, 1979), storage rot of Banana (Griffee 1976; Griffee & Burden, 1976) and wilting of Alfalfa (Zaccardelli et al., 2006).

4.3 Morphological, cultural characteristic of Fusarium semitectum Berkeley & Ravenel
The isolated fungus F. semitectum has showed cottony white mycelia, circular, slightly raised centre and mature colony became brown in colour (Fig. 5). Microconida, macroconidia and chlamydospores were observed. Several numbers of microconidia were seen on prepared slide. Microconidia were scarce, 0-1 sepatate and pyriforms. 4-6 septate macroconidia were found and measured 15 - 30 µm in length (Fig. 7). Sporodochia abundant, macroconidia slender, spindle shaped slightly curved ends. Conidiophores were monophialides and polyphialides. Chlamydospores were oval shaped, terminal or intercalary, darkly stained centre with transparent margins (Fig. 6). 



Blight disease was invariably recorded in all localities of studied area (Table 1).  The production of new culms of Bambusa balcooa was reduced every year due to infection of blight disease and posing a potential threat to groves of B. balcooa.  Blight infection was occurred only in current year full grown culms. Percent disease incidence (PDI) was ranged from 2.24 to 13.93 (Table 1). The maximum PDI was observed in vetoro village (13.93%) followed by Seithekema(9.72%) and the least was observed in Darogapather (2.24).  High humidity and blocked air produced by various water sources might create favourable condition to cause high blight incidence in Vetoro village. Blight infection might be spread from nearby district of Assam where blight disease incidence recorded on B. tulda in Assam by Borah et al., (2010). Jamaluddin et al., (1992) also reported high incidence of blight in B. nutans caused by Sacrocladium oryzae alongside the water cannel in Orissa state. Occurrence of blight and rot disease on Bambusa tulda caused by  Fusarium semitectum also reported from Dimapur district of Nagaland in case of B.tulda where humidity, variable temperature , soil condition were considered as probable factors for high blight incidence (Gogoi et al., 2013) .    

Table 1: Percent disease incidence (PDI) of blight on Bambusa balcooa in village groves of Dimapur district
Sl.
No.
Locality
No. of clumps observed
No. of clums observed
No. of clums affected
Percent diseases incidence(PDI
1
Gowotao
10
81
04
4.93
2
Seithekema
10
72
07
09.72
3
Thilixu
10
73
05
6.84
4
Vetoro
02
81
04
13.93
5
Aovimti
10
72
03
4.16
7
Chekive
03
88
05
5.68
8
Darogapatar
10
89
02
2.24
9
Ahoto
10
92
08
8.69
10
Kashiram village
02
71
02
2.81
11
Eralibil
10
108
07
6.48
12
Nagarjan
10
92
04
4.34
13
Kuki Dolong
10
96
03
3.12
14
Kacharigaon
02
71
02
2.81
15
Dubagaon
10
102
06
5.88
16
Naharbar
10
102
04
3.92
17
Senjum
10
92
03
3.26
18
Zami
10
77
04
5.19

5. Policy Implication
Cultural practice such as removal of diseased and unwanted parts, soil drenching near ground, removal of weeds from ground and burning of rice straw on the ground to remove air born fungal pathogen will helpful to reduced the blight disease incidence of B. Balcooa.

6. Conclusion
Bamboo blight must be considered a serious disease which lowered the production of new culms in Dimapur district of Nagaland. If the disease will spread in present status then it harm to the farmers livelihood.  The disease only infected to the newly developed culms which affects to bamboo based small and large scale industry and domestic work. Although the disease is not causing wide spreads damage throughout the Nagaland, but it may spread to entire districts of Nagaland in epidemic form and nearby blight disease free states which will disturb to rural economy and livelihood. Due to huge importance of bamboo in particular district, an urgent studies needed to effective management of blight disease before severely spreading in to new areas.

Acknowledgement
Authors are highly acknowledged to local villagers of studied area who helped in collection of data, disease samples and other in all activities regarding the research. Special thanks is also due to Mr. Dipankar Gogoi, Assistant professor, Jonai Science College, Jonai, Dhemaji for his valuable help during preparation of the report.

References
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