EFFECT OF BHENDI YELLOW VEIN MOSAIC VIRUS ON YIELD COMPONENTS OF OKRA PLANTS
M.A. Sheikh, S. Safiuddin, Z. Khan, I. Mahmood
An extensive survey in okra fields was carried out in September-October 2010 and in April-May 2011 and plants were found to be infected by a virus disease. Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is commonly known in India as bhendi. The effect of virus on some plant characteristics was determined. There was significant variation in the above and below ground components between diseased and healthy plants. Diseased plant height was reduced by 24%, the number of fruits by 32%, fruit length by 31%, stem girth by 16%, root length by 50% and fruit malformation was also observed in diseased plants. Bhendi yellow vein mosaic virus (BYVMV) was identified in 86% of all affected samples by a locally produced BYVMV antiserum in DAS-ELISA assays. Transmission studies revealed that the whitefly Bemisia tabaci is associated with the disease. Disease incidence also varied in different growing seasons. The reduction in yield components incurred by virus infection emphasizes its damaging potential on currently grown okra cultivars in western India.