Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Rice bakanae disease (429)

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  • Widespread. Africa, Asia, North, South, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, Oceania. In America Samoa, Australia, Fiji, Guam, New Caledonia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu.
  • Moderately serious fungal disease. On rice and many other crops (e.g., maize, sorghum, sugarcane) and weeds; those of economic importance in grass family. IRRI reports losses of up to 20% in Asia. Reported a serious seedborne and soilborne disease of dryland rice in Fiji.
  • Infected seed results in poor emergence, or those that emerge are tall, thin yellow-green with few tillers and usually die. Survivors bear panicles of empty grain, with pink-white fungal growth at soil level, moving up the stem; nodes become pink to purple and form roots. Spores develop on the stems, either asexual ‘conidia’ or sexual ‘ascospores’ leading to contaminated and/or infected seed. Soilborne infections cause root rots.
  • Spread by spores on the wind or in water. Long-distance spread on and in seed. Survival in seed (1-2 years), in soil (1 year), and in plant debris. IRRI reports seedborne levels of up to 25%.
  • Cultural control: rotate after 2 years with vegetables or root crops; if practical, pull out infected plants; collect straw and burn, or plough in stubble and straw after harvest.
  • Chemical control: seed treatments - use thiram or thiram plus thiophanate-methyl, or fungicides in azole and strobilurin groups.
Common Name

Bakanae disease of rice; also know as Fool’s rice. Bakanae is from the Japanese for 'foolish seedling'. On maize it is known as maize Fusarium kernel rot (see Fact Sheet no. 224).

Scientific Name

Gibberella fujikuroi. The asexual state is Fusarium moniliforme. There are three mating groups.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information (and Photo 2) from Bakanae. Rice Knowledge Bank. IRRI. (; and CABI (2018) Gibberella fujikuroi (bakanae disease of rice). Crop Protection Compendium. (; and Bakanae. Department of Primary Industries, NSW Government, Australia. (; and from Graham KM (1971) Plant diseases of Fiji. Her Majesty's Stationery Office. London. Photo 1&3 O.P. Sharma, NCIPM, New Delhi. India,

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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