• The affected vines show general foliar yellowing, stunted and twisted leaves with shortened internodes (Image1).
  • The characteristic symptom is noticed on flowers and spikes where it show varying degrees of malformations like elongated spike stalk, aborted and transformed flower buds into narrow leaf like structures etc (Image2,3).
  • The flower buds also developed into small vegetative branches, resembling the fruiting laterals, with nodes/internodes and narrow leaf like structures (Image4).

Control Measures

  • Raise cuttings from disease free vines and also avoid normal vines from infected gardens.
  • As viral diseases of Black pepper are systemic in nature, the viruses are present in every cell of the plant and after entering into the vines, the viruses may even take 2 to 5 years to express the symptoms depending upon the varieties, age of vines, nature of virus(es), climatic conditions prevailing, vectors associated etc.
  • As the crop is vegetatively propagated, disease spread is rapid through the planting material, especially when infected plants are used as the source of planting material.
  • Separate and destroy diseased planting materials in nurseries. This helps to reduce the source of virus and its spread.
  • Uproot and burn the roots and infected vines in the field. This helps to reduce the disease spread through insect vectors as such vines serve as source of inoculum.
  • Avoid movement of planting materials from the infected regions to disease free zones.
  • Disinfect cutting knives and blades used for taking cuttings and other farm implements used in the affected field with phenol /dettol.
  • Do not prune off the infected plant parts alone, as it never eradicates the virus. Rather it exposes tools to infected sap.
  • Remove and destroy all the collateral hosts of virus and insect vectors from the pepper fields.
  • In order to avoid the spread of the disease through insect vectors, control vectors by spraying systemic insecticides like Monocrotophos (Nuvacron 1.5ml/L) or Dimethoate (Roger 1.5ml/L) at 3-4 weeks interval. If more number of sprays are required, adopt rotation of insecticides, rather than repeatedly sparying the same insecticide. Also, give waiting period before harvesting.