What is crinkle disease?

Answered by Jason Smith

Urdbean leaf crinkle disease (ULCD) is a highly destructive and widespread condition that affects urdbean plants, leading to significant economic losses in major urdbean-producing countries around the world. This disease is caused by a virus known as urdbean leaf crinkle virus (ULCV).

ULCD is characterized by severe crinkling, puckering, and rugosity of the leaves. The affected leaves become distorted and take on a wrinkled appearance, which gives rise to the name “crinkle disease.” These symptoms can be observed in both young and mature leaves of infected plants.

The impact of crinkle disease on urdbean crops is substantial, as it leads to a reduction in yield. Infected plants often exhibit stunted growth and reduced vigor, resulting in lower productivity. The crinkled leaves also hinder the normal functioning of the plant, affecting photosynthesis and nutrient uptake. Consequently, the plants may produce fewer flowers and pods, leading to a decline in overall yield.

The primary causative agent of ULCD is ULCV, a virus that belongs to the family Geminiviridae. Geminiviruses are known for their ability to cause devastating diseases in a variety of crops worldwide. ULCV is primarily transmitted by whiteflies, which act as vectors for the virus. When whiteflies feed on infected plants, they acquire the virus and can subsequently transmit it to healthy plants.

Once a plant is infected with ULCV, the virus spreads systemically throughout the plant, replicating in the plant cells and causing the characteristic symptoms of crinkle disease. The virus interferes with the normal growth and development of the plant, leading to the observed leaf crinkling and rugosity.

Preventing and managing crinkle disease can be a challenging task. Cultural practices such as crop rotation, weed control, and removal of infected plants can help reduce the spread of the virus. Additionally, the use of insecticides to control whitefly populations may be beneficial in preventing the transmission of ULCV.

Breeding for resistance is another approach to managing ULCD. By selecting and breeding urdbean varieties that exhibit resistance to ULCV, farmers can reduce the impact of the disease on their crops. This requires the identification of resistant germplasm and the incorporation of these traits into commercially viable cultivars.

Crinkle disease, caused by urdbean leaf crinkle virus (ULCV), is a significant threat to urdbean crops worldwide. The disease results in severe crinkling, puckering, and rugosity of leaves, leading to reduced yield and economic losses. Effective management strategies involve cultural practices, insecticide use, and breeding for resistance. Continued research and collaboration are crucial in developing sustainable solutions to combat this devastating disease.