Fusarium Wilts of Chickpea, Pigeon Pea and Lentil and Their Management

  • Suseelendra Desai
  • R. D. Prasad
  • G. Praveen Kumar


Fungal wilts caused by species of Fusarium on crop plants are threat to the food and nutritional security. Chickpea, pigeon pea and lentils are staple pulse crops of Indian diet and form principal protein source, especially for vegetarians. Wilt is a major disease of all these crops causing huge economic losses. The fungus Fusarium oxysporum, with several formae specialis, is ubiquitous and has been recognized as a threat to crop production among food, commercial and horticultural crops. Though most of the species are saprophytic, a few of them are highly pathogenic, and in some crops, physiologic races have also been reported.

Sometimes, the pathogen occurs in combination with other pathogens forming a complex. The wilt-causing fusaria in general show certain degree of host specificity. The fungus is soilborne, and the disease is monocyclic in nature. Major management strategies include breeding for host resistance, use of biological control agents and cultural and physical practices. Conventional breeding techniques and modern molecular tools have enabled to breed disease-resistant plants and thus reduce overall cost of disease management. Extensive research has been conducted to develop wilt-resistant cultivars due to which there is considerable reduction in losses due to this disease. Being a soilborne pathogen, cheap and sustainable methods such as development of formulations of potential biocontrol agents have helped in the reduction of crop losses. Strains of Trichoderma and Pseudomonas have been harnessed and commercialized, and these products are popular in farming community. However, no single method helps to minimize losses, and hence, integrated disease management packages need to be developed to reduce crop losses. In this paper, an effort is made to review the current status of the disease, pathogen, management strategies and way forward to manage the wilt pathogens efficiently.


Fusarium wilt Trichoderma Pseudomonas Resistant cultivars Pulses 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suseelendra Desai
    • 1
  • R. D. Prasad
    • 2
  • G. Praveen Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.ICAR-Central Research Institute for Dryland AgricultureHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.ICAR-Indian Institute for Oilseeds ResearchHyderabadIndia

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