Incidence of dieback disease following fungal inoculations of sexually and asexually propagated shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)




Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo) is an important multipurpose tree with great economic importance, but this tree has been devastated by dieback disease. Seedlings and asexually propagated (cuttings) plants were artificially inoculated with four fungi (Fusarium solani, Botryodiplodia theobromae, Curvularia lunata and Ganoderma lucidum) to evaluate the potential role of these fungi in shisham dieback disease. Results at 2 years revealed that highest disease was caused by inoculation of F. solani (31.39%), followed by B. theobromae (19.042%) and C. lunata (12.22%), but no dieback disease was caused by G. lucidum. During both years, seedlings exhibited greater susceptibility to disease (17.24%) compared to cuttings (7.83%). In particular, F. solani caused more disease in seedlings (46.18%) compared to cuttings (16.61%). With the F. solani inoculations, maximum disease rate was observed at 8 weeks post-inoculation both in seedlings (77%) and in cuttings (31%), but the maximum disease increase was observed at 4–5 weeks post-inoculation. Analysis of variance showed significant differences among the different fungi and also between seedlings and cuttings. F. solani can be considered as a major fungal pathogen contributing to dieback disease of shisham, and asexual propagation can reduce the severity of dieback.