भाकृअनुप - केंद्रीय रोपण फसल अनुसंधान संस्थान
ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute
An ISO 9001:2015 Certified Institute
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Research Achievements

Crop Protection

Root (Wilt) Disease
  •  Established the etiology of root (wilt) disease of coconut as Phytoplasma (16Sr XI group) by electron microscopy, transmission through dodder, light microscopic staining techniques and molecular tools. Molecular detection achieved by PCR using custom designed primers.
  • Identified Proutista moesta and Stephanitis typica as the potential vectors and established their role in the root (wilt) disease transmission.
  •  Standardized a rapid and sensitive sero-diagnostic test (ELISA) for the early detection of root (wilt) disease and integrated disease management strategies were developed for heavily diseased tracts and mildly disease affected areas. An increase in yield of 25-83% depending on severity of disease can be obtained by adopting IDM.

Root (Wilt) Disease affected Palm

Phytoplasma in sieve tubes of root (wilt) Disease affected Palms

Lace Bug ----Plant Hopper (Stephanitis typica) --(Proutista moesta)
Leaf rot disease
  • Elucidated the etiology and symptomatology of leaf rot disease. 
  • Disease is caused by fungal pathogens mainly Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Exerohilum rostratum and Fusarium solani.
  • Control measures using pouring of fungicide well around the base of the spindle leaf after removing the infected leaves (hexaconazole- 2ml in 300 ml of water) and use of biocontrol agents in talc formulation ((Pseudomonas fluorescens and Bacillus subtilis) singly or in consortium @ 50 gm in 500ml water/ palm) were standardized.

Leaf rot Disease affected Palm

Symptoms of leaf rot Disease
Bud rot
  • Developed and standardised prophylactic treatment protocol for the management of bud rot of coconut by application of 1 % Bordeaux mixture @300ml per palm or placement of 2 perforated fungicide sachets of Chlorothalonil 75WP (3 gm each) in the inner most leaf axils just before the onset of monsoon season at bi-monthly till the end of December. Also standardized the curative treatment protocol with the application of 10% Bordeaux paste or Chlorothalonil 75WP solution (3g in 300ml of water) after removal of infected spindle portion and cover with polythene sheet.
  • Developed integrated bud rot management strategy involving removal of disease advanced and dead palms, field and plant hygiene, treatment with fungicide, INM, control of other pests and diseases especially rhinoceros beetle infestation etc.
  • Developed integrated bud rot management strategy involving removal of disease advanced and dead palms, field and plant hygiene, treatment with fungicide, INM, control of other pests and diseases especially rhinoceros beetle infestation etc.
Bud rot affected Palm Mancozeb Sachets
Stem bleeding
  • Root feeding with tridemorph and soil application of neem cake were found effective in managing stem bleeding disease of coconut.
  • Trichoderma virens, T. harzianum, T. viride and T. hamatum were found to be antagonistic to the stem bleeding pathogen Thielaviopsis paradoxa.

Bleeding Symptoms on the Stem
Fruit Rot and Immature Nut Fall
  • Lasiodiplodia theobromae was identified as the major causal organism of rotting and nut fall of eriophyid mite infested coconut.
  • Carbendazim or a combination product of carbendazim and mancozeb was found effective in controlling L. theobromae infection of coconuts.
  • If coconut is cultivated under organic farming system spraying of garlic bulb extract (10%) can be recommended for the management of fruit rot and immature nut fall in coconut.

Disease incidence in COD Variety
L. theobromae infection spreading to the kernel and causing extensive rotting

Yellow leaf disease
  • Etiology of yellow leaf disease (YLD) of arecanut was established as phytoplasma by electron microscopy and transmission studies with vectors.
  • Confirmed the phytoplasmal etiology of YLD through molecular characterization using custom designed primers.
  • Confirmed plant hopper Proutista moesta as vector of YLD
  • Standardized sero-diagnostic test for detection of YLD
  • Management strategy is recommended in the initial stages of disease. Apply 220 g urea, 200g super phosphate and 230 g muriate of potash per palm / year in two split doses during pre and post monsoon period. In addition to the above, apply one kg of super phosphate in affected gardens. Apply organic manure @ 12 kg each of compost and green leaves per palm per year. Avoid water stagnation by providing drainage facility. Control other pests and diseases.

Foliar Symptoms of YLD
Phytophthora diseases
  • Phytophthora meadii was found to be the causative agent of fruit rot and bud rot diseases of arecanut.
  • Developed a linear model based on multiple regression analysis to predict the fruit rot incidence four days in advance
  • Covering bunches with poly bags prior to monsoon was incorporated as a component in IDM of mahali
  • Developed crown rot management strategy using 0.3% phosphorous acid

Fruit Rot caused by P.meadii
Bud rot Disease
Inflorescence dieback and Button shedding
  • Elucidated disease cycle of arecanut inflorescence dieback
  • Developed IDM for inflorescence dieback
  • Remove the fully affected inflorescence and destroy them by burning to prevent the spread and severity of the disease.

Inflorescence Dieback
Anabe or Foot Rot
  • Established the association of Ganoderma applanatum with the disease incidence
  • Developed IDM practices for foot rot of arecanut

Anabe or Foot Rot
Cocoa Phytophthora diseases
  • Phytophthora palmivora (A2 mating type) was found to be the predominant species causing black pod and stem canker diseases in India
  • Rare incidence of black pod disease caused by P. capsici and P. citrophthora has been reported from Kerala state
  • Cocoa accession C78 was found to be less susceptible to black pod disease caused by P. palmivora
  • Developed IDM for black pod and canker
  • A technique has been recently developed to control stem canker using the biocontrol agent, Trichoderma harzianum

Black Pod Disease caused by P.palmivora

External Lesion -----Internal Lesion Stem Canker
Cherelle rot
  • Elucidated the symptomatology, etiology and seasonal cycle of cherelle rot of cocoa in India caused by Colletotrichum gleosporioides
  • Developed IDM for Colletotrichum pod rot

Cherelle rot
Utilization of Plantation crop Wastes
Developed low cost techniques for mass multiplication of bio-control agents utilizing plantation crop wastes like coconut water and cocoa sweating. Diluted cocoa sweating was found to be superior to conventional liquid media T. harzianum multiplied in Cocoa Sweating
Developed a simple and highly economical low cost technology for farm level mass production of biocontrol agents using diluted cocoa sweating, bean shell and pod husk
T. harzianum multiplied in unsterilized Cocoa bean shell moistened with Cocoa Sweating
A very promising mycological culture medium was developed using cocoa bean shell, an industrial waste. Developed technologies for production of oyster mushroom utilizing arecanut wastes
Oyster mushroom grown on Areca Leaf
Developed technologies for production of coir pith formulation of Trichoderma (Trichoderma coir pith cake)
Trichoderma Coir Pith Cake
Pesticide slow release product was developed using coir pith
Coir Pith based Pesticide slow release Product


Rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros)
Metarhizium anisopliae var. major was identified as a potential pathogen on Oryctes grubs. The mass production of the fungus on solid substrates viz., cassava chips, rice bran mixture supplemented with nitrogen source and partially cooked rice media have been developed at CPCRI. The fungal spores are to be applied @ of 5 x 1011 spores / m3 on the breeding pits in which the beetles breed. The mode of infection of Oryctes Nudi virus (OrNV) on rhinoceros beetle grubs has been established. Mass production of the virus is done by rearing the grubs on virus inoculated food such as sterilized cow dung, saw dust, coir pith etc. or by mouth feeding the healthy grubs with viral suspension and rearing them on sterilized food materials. Release of 12-15 infected beetles per hectare was recommended to disseminate the virus in nature. Shade dried leaf powder of the common weed plant Clerodendron infortunatum proved its insecticidal property against Oryctes rhinoceros at 10% w/w. Incorporation of the whole plant in the breeding sites of rhinoceros beetle proved to be effective in checking the build up of the pest in the breeding sites. Application of naphthalene balls @ 10-12 g/ palm or leaf axil filling of powdered marotti cake (Hydnocarpus) @250g/palm+ fine sand 250 g or leaf axil filling with chlorantraniliprole (0.4WG) / chloridust @5g mixed with 250g of sand during April-May, and September -October proved to be effective as a prophylactic control measure for rhinoceros beetle and red weevil. A modified PVC trap was developed to be used with pheromone to attract the rhinoceros beetle adults.

Rhinoceros Beetle Damage with Biostages
M. anisopliae infected Grubs
Oryctes virus infected Grubs
Red Palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus)
Developed IPM package for red palm weevil that includes cleaning of palm crown periodically to avoid decaying of organic debris, proper cutting, splitting and burning of red palm weevil infested palms, treating of any wounds on the palm with coal tar and stem injection with spinosad 0.013%. Prophylactic leaf axil filling with 250 g marotti oil cake (Hydnocarpus sp.) + 200 g of fine sand in leaf axils around spindle during May, September and December has been found to be effective. A red palm weevil lure ferrugineol was formulated at CPCRI. Unlike the sachets used in commercial lure the CPCRI lure was made of glass capillary of 6 cm in length and id. of 1.5 mm. Each glass capillary had 100 µl ie 78.5 mg of ferrugineol with the density of 0.76g/cc. CPCRI lure was cost effective as compared to the imported lures. The role of kairomones of red palm weevil were identified and tested under laboratory conditions. Pheromone lure when placed in isolation did not yield desirable results; hence they had to be associated with food baits. Among the various phagostimulants that were evaluated to be used in tandem with pheromone lure, it was observed that macerated plantain (200gm) or sugarcane bits attracted more weevils (an average of 8 weevils/trap/week), whilst the pheromone trap without food bait had a lowest weevil catch of 1 weevil/trap / week. Volatiles emanating from food baits are identified. Slow delivery mechanism of pheromone have been developed

Affected Palm

Adult (Weevil)--------Pheromone Red Palm weevil
Leaf eating caterpillar (Opisina arenosella)

Techniques were evolved at CPCRI for mass multiplication of the promising parasitoids namely Goniozus nephantidis, Bracon brevicornis, Elasmus nephantidis and Brachymeria nosatoi which are being currently recommended for biocontrol of Opisina Release rate of the parasitoids have been fixed. G. nephantidis, E. nephantidis and B. nosatoi are to be released at fixed norms of 20.5, 49.4 and 31.9% of larval, prepupal and pupal stage of the pest respectively. In a multistage condition of the pest, a combined release of all the parasitoids @40% of each of the target pest stage is required. Mass production technique for Apanteles taragamae on early instar caterpillars of O. arenosella was evolved. Olfactory conditioning in bethylid, Goniozus nephantidis an ectoparasitoid of coconut black headed caterpillar Opisina arenosella resulted in increased host searching ability of the parasitoid released in the field.

Larvae of Opisina arenosella
Adult of Goniozus nephantidis
Eriophyid mite (Aceria guerreronis) In the year 1998 CPCRI first identified and reported the occurrence of the coconut infesting eriophyid mite, Aceria guerreronis. This report was the first for the whole of Asia. Palms receiving root feeding of 10 ml Neemazal + 10 ml water and palms base drenched with 10 ml Neemazal along with soil application of Neemcake showed the highest percentage reduction in the eriophyid mite infestation. The acaropathogenic fungus Hirsutella thompsonii has been identified as potential bioagent against the eriophyid mite Aceria guerreronis. Talc based formulations of two isolates CPCRI -19 and CPCRI 51 (11) are virulent. Two rounds spraying of the fungal formulation caused a reduction to a tune of 44 – 73 %. Developed management strategies for eriophyid mite using botanochemicals. Spraying neem formulation containing 1% azadirachtin @ 4 ml/ l of water or 2% neem oil, garlic emulsion on button during April-May, Oct.-Nov. and Dec.-Jan., in such a way that all mite infested palms in an area should be covered at the shortest possible interval.
Eriophyid mite
White grub (Leucopholis coneophora)

Developed IPM technology that includes deep ploughing and digging of soil during pre- and post-monsoon period, collection and destruction of adult beetles during peak emergence period in May-June. Mechanical capturing and destruction of beetles during peak emergence period.

Coconut root Grub
Coreid bug (Paradasynus rostratus)
Spraying of 0.5% neam oil to the button.

Coreid bug Damaged nut
Rodents(arboreal black rat Rattus rattus wroughtoni, burrowing rodents Bandicota bengalensis, B. indica, Gerbils Tatera indica)
Placing of single dose anticoagulant bromodiolone (0.005%) 10 g blocks twice at an interval of 12 days on the palm crown of one tree out of every 5 trees was found effective against arboreal black rat.
Termites (Odontotermes obesus)

Drenching the nursery with 0.05 % chlorpyriphos twice at 20-25 days internal or swabbing the affected portion of the trunk in adult palms with 0.05 % chlorpyriphos solution was found effective.
Arecanut White grub (Leucopholis lepidophora Blanch)
Basin application of neem cake @2kg/palm/year during June to July for re-generation of affected roots. Two round applications of insecticide is recommended viz., spraying of chlorpyriphos @ 2kg ai/ha or bifenthrin @ 2 kg ai/ha during August second week. Root zone application of chlorpyrifos 20 EC @ 7ml/palm during the last week of September. Repeating ploughing the field(5-6 times) from(Aug-Dec) to expose the grubs to predator. Mechanical capturing and destruction of beetle during peak emergence period.

Root Grubs of Arecanut
Spindle bug of arecanut (Carvalhoia arecae)

Sucking of plant sap by the nymphs and adults of spindle bug result in typical linear, dark brown lesions which turn necrotic on the spindle. Damaged open leaves dry up and drop off. Severely affected spindle leaves fail to unfurl completely. Infestation in young exposed plantations results in severe manifestation of symptoms during summer months. Spray spindle leaf and inner most leaves of palms in infested plantations with dimethoate (0.06%) 30 EC 2 ml/ lit of water.

Spindle Bug
Red and White Mites (Raoiella indica and Oligonychus indicus) Spraying dimethoate (0.06%) 30EC @ 2 ml/litre of water to the lower surface of leaves was effective in reducing the pest incidence.
Damage caused by mite
Immature fruit drop
Feeding by Halyomorpha marmorea was identified as a cause for immature fruit drop with shrinking and browning of kernels. An egg parasitoid of the pentatomid bug, Halyomorpha marmorea which causes immature fruit drop in areca palm is identified as Anastatus bangalorensis (Hymenoptera: Eupelmidae).
Spraying dimethaote (0.06%) 30EC 2ml/litre of water to the tender bunches of the affected palms and surrounding few palms.

Adults of Halyomorpha
Kernal browning due to damage by Halyomorpha
Scale Insect

Spraying dimethaote (0.06%) 30EC 2ml/litre of water to the tender bunches was found to be effective in containing scale insects. Cowpea, bhendi, bitter gourd, chillies etc, were identified as alternate host for this pest. Ladybird beetle,Chilocorus nigrita was identified as an effective predator against the scale insects.
Arecanut infested by Scales
Cocoa Tea mosquito bug
The damage symptoms like necrosis and dieback of shoots, bark roughening, destruction of flowers and cherelles were identified as symptoms due to damage. In cherelles, feeding punctures cause distortion during growth. Yield reduction was reported up to 30 to 40 %.

Adults of tea musquito Bug

Damage caused by Feeding

Placing 10g Bromodiolone (0.005%) wax cakes on the branches of cocoa trees twice at an interval of 10-12 days will check the rat damage was found as an effective technique to manage the rodents
Squirrels gnaw the pods in the center and damage only the mature ones. They feed on the mucilage covering of the beans. Trapping with wooden or wire mesh single catch ‘live’ trap with ripe coconut kernel as the bait is effective. Timely harvest of the pods will help in increasing the efficiency of poison baiting as well as trapping.