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Buttermilk-based formulation fights TSV: Indian scientists

Dec '18
Courtesy: Vigyanprasar.gov
Courtesy: Vigyanprasar.gov
A plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria called Bacillus amyloliquefaciens can be used to fight tobacco streak virus (TSV) in cotton crop, researchers at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) in Coimbatore have discovered. The formulation, prepared in buttermilk, was tested against the virus and found effective. TSV causes cotton necrosis disease.

Buttermilk has been traditionally used in humans and plants for its anti-microbial activity. Many milk proteins show anti-viral activity by inhibiting reverse transcriptase enzyme of viruses. The new study found buttermilk base alone could reduce virus concentration but was more effective when used in combination with Bacillus formulations, according to a report by a government-funded science news wire.

The virus gets transmitted to cotton plants through insect vector, thrips. TSV produces multifarious symptoms. Farmers are generally unaware of these symptoms and end up applying insecticides indiscriminately to control the vector.

Experiments were conducted in 2015 and 2016 at two locations in Tamil Nadu on a high-yielding hybrid, RCH659,, to assess the efficacy of Bacillus species.

Buttermilk, when used as a carrier base for application of bacterial inoculation, was found to effectively colonise rhizosphere and phylloplane of cotton plant and produce anti-microbial peptides and fatty acids, which curbed the virus.

S Vinodkumar, S Nakkeeran, P Renukadevi, VG Malathi and S Mohankumar are members of the team that conducted the study, results of which were published in ‘Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment Journal’. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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