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Bacterial blight - Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. malvacearum
The bacterium attacks all stages from seed to harvest. Usually five common phases of symptoms are noticed.
i) Seedling blight:
Small, water-soaked, circular or irregular lesions develop on the cotyledons, later, the infection spreads to stem through petiole and cause withering and death of seedlings.
ii) Angular leaf spot:
 Small, dark green, water soaked areas develop on lower surface of leaves, enlarge gradually and become angular when restricted by veins and veinlets and spots are visible on both the surface of leaves. As the lesions become older, they turn to reddish brown colour and infection spreads to veins and veinlets.       
iii) Vein blight or vein necrosis or black vein:
The infection of veins cause blackening of the veins and veinlets, gives a typical ‘blighting’ appearance. On the lower surface of the leaf, bacterial oozes are formed as crusts or scales. The affected leaves become crinkled and twisted inward and show withering. The infection also spreads from veins to petiole and cause blighting leading to defoliation.
iv) Black arm:
 On the stem and fruiting branches, dark brown to black lesions are formed, which may girdle the stem and branches to cause premature drooping off of the leaves, cracking of stem and gummosis, resulting in breaking of the stem and hang typically as dry black twig to give a characteristic “black arm” symptom.
v) Square rot / Boll rot:
 On the bolls, water soaked lesions appear and turn into dark black and sunken irregular spots. The infection slowly spreads to entire boll and shedding occurs. The infection on mature bolls lead to premature bursting. The bacterium spreads inside the boll and lint gets stained yellow because of bacterial ooze and looses its appearance and market value. The pathogen also infects the seed and causes reduction in size and viability of the seeds.

Angular leaf spot

      Bacterial blight lesions on leaf and the blackleg symptom on the leaf petiole

The bacterium is a short rod with a single polar flagellum. It is Gram negative, non-spore forming and measures 1.0-1.2 X 0.7-0.9 µm.
Favorable Conditions

  • Optimum soil temperature of 28˚C,
  • High atmospheric temperature of 30-40˚C,
  • Relative humidity of 85 per cent, early sowing,
  • Delayed thinning,
  • Poor tillage, late irrigation and
  • Potassium deficiency in soil.
  • Rain followed by bright sunshine during the months of October and November are highly favorable.

Disease Cycle
The bacterium survives on infected, dried plant debris in soil for several years. The bacterium is also seed-borne and remains in the form of slimy mass on the fuzz of seed coat. The bacterium also attacks other hosts like Thumbergia thespesioides, Eriodendron anfructuosum and Jatropha curcus. The primary infection starts mainly from the seed-borne bacterium. The secondary spread of the bacteria may be through wind, wind blown rain splash, irrigation water, insects and other implements.

  • Delint the cotton seeds with concentrated sulphuric acid at 100ml/kg of seed. Treat the delinted seeds with carboxin or oxycarboxin at 2 g/kg or soak the seeds in 1000 ppm Streptomycin sulphate overnight.
  • Remove and destory the infected plant debris. Rogue out the volunteer cotton plants and weed hosts.
  • Follow crop rotation with non-host crops.
  • Early thinning and early earthing up with potash.
  • Grow resistant varieties like Sujatha, 1412 and CRH 71.
  • Spray with Streptomycin sulphate +Ttetracycline mixture 100g along with Copper oxychloride at 1.25 Kg/ha.