CROP PROTECTION DIVISION

The Crop Protection Division focuses on undertaking research on plant pathogens, insects and plant parasitic nematodes and provides specialized services to the spice growers to protect their plants from pests and diseases.The Division is very strongly focused on developing eco-friendly, integrated management schedules to minimize the use of pesticides and reduce their risk, to obtain safe and clean spices.

Manpower

At present ten scientists belonging to disciplines like Plant Pathology, Entomology, Nematology and Microbiology are working in this Division.

Name

Designation

Specialization

Santhosh J. Eapen

Principal Scientist & Head

Nematology; Bioinformatics

T.K. Jacob

Principal Scientist

Entomology

R. Suseela Bhai

Principal Scientist

Plant Pathology

A. Ishwara Bhat

Principal Scientist

Plant Pathology; Virology

Rashid Pervez

Principal Scientist

Nematology

C.M. Senthil Kumar

Senior Scientist

Entomology

C.N. Biju

Scientist

Plant Pathology

R. Praveena

Scientist

Plant Pathology

C. Sarathambal

Scientist

Agri. Microbiology

Mohammed Faisal Peeran

Scientist

Plant Pathology

P K Chandravally

Technical Officer

Plant Pathology

Research Scholars

P. Vadivukkarasi

KSCSTE Post-Doctoral Fellow

Biotechnology

K.A. Revathy

WSA Fellow

Plant Virology

Krishna P.B.

Research Scholar

Nematology

AnusreeThampi

CSIR Fellow

Plant Pathology

Bijitha P.K.

KSCSTE Fellow

Plant Pathology

Blessy M. Baby

UGC Fellow

Nematology

Pamitha N.S.

Junior Research Fellow

Plant Virology

Subila K.P.

Research Assistant

Plant Pathology

Vishnu P.T.

Field Assistant

Plant Pathology

Major Achievements

Over the last three decades the Division has established the etiology and epidemiology of major diseases of spices, surveyed the spice growing areas of the country and catalogued the major pests and pathogens and developed integrated pest/disease management measures to control them. In pursuit of clean spices without any pesticide residues, the Division is actively engaged in developing pest/disease resistant lines and biocontrol agents that suppress the pathogens. Notable among the resistant lines developed are IISR Shakti (Phytophthora resistant black pepper line), Pournami (root knot nematode resistant black pepper line), IISR Vijetha (‘Katte’ resistant cardamom selection), IISR Avinash (rhizome rot resistant cardamom line), IISR Mahima (root knot nematode resistant ginger selection) and IISR Pragati (root knot nematode tolerant turmeric selection). The efficient strains of biocontrol agents developed by the Division like Trichoderma harzianum, Pseudomonas spp., Pochonia chlamydosporia, Lecanicilliumpsalliote etc. are quite popular among the farming community and are successfully commercialized. Highly reliable and sensitive diagnostic tools have been standardized for rapid detection of viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes infecting spices.

Research Programs

The major problems handled by the scientists of the Division are Phytophthora foot rot, slow decline, anthracnose, viral diseases of black pepper, rhizome rot and viral diseases of cardamom, soft rot and bacterial wilt of ginger, foliar diseases of turmeric and diseases of vanilla. Besides, insect and nematode problems of these spices are also addressed.
Some of the ongoing research programs are:

  • Surveillance, documentation for pests, diseases, entomopathogens and microbial antagonists
  • Investigations on endophytic and rhizospheric microflora for management of spice diseases
  • Ecology and epidemiology of fungal foliar diseases in ginger and turmeric
  • Screening of spice germplasm against major pests and diseases
  • Identification and development of diagnostics for major pathogens of spices
  • Mass production and field evaluation of promising biocontrol agents
  • Integrated management of major diseases of spices

Major Facilities

  • The National Repository of Phytophthora
  • Repository of Biocontrol Agents
  • Accredited virus indexing facility
  • Molecular plant pathology lab
  • Insect biocontrol laboratory
  • Nematology laboratory

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