Biology, Etiology and Management of Pigeonpea Sterility Mosoic Disease uri icon


  • Sterility mosaic (SMD) is the most damaging disease of pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) in the Indian subcontinent. The disease appears to be native to pigeonpea growing countries of Asia, and has not been recorded elsewhere. The disease was known since 1930s, but its causal agent, Pigeonpea sterility mosaic virus (PPSMV), vectored by an eriophyidmite, Aceria cajani, was characterized recently. Serological- and nucleic acid-based diagnostic tools were developed for the virus detection. The virus has novel properties with similarities in transmission andcytopathology with the eriophyid mite-transmitted High Plains virus and the agents of unidentified etiology associated with rose rosette, fig mosaic, thistle mosaic, wheat spot chlorosis and yellow ringspot of budwood. The virus occurs as several geographically distinct isolatesand host-plant resistance to the highly virulent isolates are scarce. Knowledge on properties and distribution of various PPSMV isolates, its relationships with other viruses and SMD epidemiology is limited. However, recent breakthroughs made on the identification, detectionand transmission of PPSMV are presenting opportunities for new initiatives to study these aspects enabling the development of broad based durable resistant cultivars to combat this major disease of pigeonpea

publication date

  • 2004