In vitro and field efficacy of fungicides against sheath blight of rice and post-harvest fungicide residue in soil, husk, and brown rice using gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

  • Pankaj KumarEmail author
  • Sushil Ahlawat
  • Reena Chauhan
  • Anil Kumar
  • Ram Singh
  • Ashwani Kumar


Rice is a staple food for about 65% of the India’s population. India ranks first in area under rice and second in production of rice in the world. In India, it is cultivated over 43.39 m ha with a production and productivity of 104.32 million tons and 2404 kg/ha, respectively. Besides ensuring food security of the nation, it is an export commodity and earns a huge foreign exchange. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of five fungicides against Rhizoctonia solani Kuhn AG-1 IA, inciting sheath blight of rice in vitro and under field conditions along with post-harvest residue of the fungicides found effective in disease management. In vitro growth inhibition tests revealed that the EC50 values of azoxystrobin 18.2% + difenoconazole 11.4% SC, pencycuron 22.9% SC, thifluzamide 23.9% SC, hexaconazole 4% + zineb 68% WP, and validamycin 3% L against Rhizoctonia solani ranged from 0.006 to 354.81 ppm a.i., whereas the corresponding EC90 values were 0.758 to 1202.26 ppm a.i. Thifluzamide 23.9% SC was found to be the most inhibitory with EC50 and EC90 values of 0.006 and 0.758 ppm a.i. followed by hexaconazole 4% + zineb 68% WP. The complete inhibition of sclerotia formation was observed at 1 ppm, 20 ppm, and 25 ppm a.i. of thifluzamide 23.9% SC, hexaconazole 4% + zineb 68% WP, and azoxystrobin 18.2% + difenoconazole 11.4% SC, respectively. In field trials, azoxystrobin 18.2% + difenoconazole 11.4% SC was the best treatment in reducing sheath blight and in enhancing grain yield of rice followed by thifluzamide 23.9% SC, pencycuron 22.9% SC, and validamycin 3% L, whereas hexaconazole 4% + zineb 68% WP was the least effective fungicide. Benefit-cost ratio (B:C) of different fungicides reflected that pencycuron 22.9% SC (B:C 5.06) and azoxystrobin 18.2% + difenoconazole 11.4% SC(B:C 4.65) sprayed at single/recommended doses of 1 ml/l were highly economical in managing sheath blight disease of rice. Double dose of pencycuron 22.9% SC further enhanced the B:C to 7.24 while the double dose of azoxystrobin 18.2% + difenoconazole 11.4% SC was less economical (B:C 2.84) compared to their recommended doses. Samples of rice matrices were processed using QuEChERS method and analyzed for the presence of fungicide residues by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). The post-harvest residues of azoxystrobin, difenoconazole, and pencycuron, sprayed at single/recommended and double doses with a pre-harvest interval (PHI) of 44 days, were found below the limit of quantification (LOQ), i.e., 0.01 and 0.005 mg kg−1 for azoxystrobin and difenoconazole and 0.05 mg kg−1 for pencycuron in brown rice, cropped soil, paddy straw, and husk. These results clearly demonstrated that treatment of azoxystrobin 18.2% + difenoconazole 11.4% SC and pencycuron 22.9% SC could be taken as safe for crop protection and environmental contamination point of view. The findings of this research work will have a positive impact on rice export and use.


Rhizoctonia solani Azoxystrobin Difenoconazole Pencycuron Bioefficacy Post-harvest fungicide residue 



The authors are thankful to the Director of Research, CCSHAU, Hisar, Regional Director, CCSHAU Rice Research Station, Kaul, Professor and Head, Department of Plant Pathology, for providing facilities for laboratory and field studies and to the Professor and Head, Department of Entomology, CCSHAU, Hisar, for providing research facilities for residue analysis of the fungicides. The financial assistance provided by CCSHAU, Hisar, in the form of merit scholarship during this study is gratefully acknowledged and appreciated.

Funding information

The funding recieved from CCSHAU in form of scholarship and for purchase of chemicals and arranging facilities for research work are greatfully acknowledged.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pankaj Kumar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sushil Ahlawat
    • 2
  • Reena Chauhan
    • 2
  • Anil Kumar
    • 1
  • Ram Singh
    • 1
  • Ashwani Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant PathologyCCS Haryana Agricultural UniversityHisarIndia
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyCCS Haryana Agricultural UniversityHisarIndia

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