A. Fruit crops:
Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV):

Figure: PRSV symptoms on leaf (A & B), on petiole (C) and electron micrograph of PRSV particles (D).

Development of tolerant lines


    • Pune Selection-3 and Pune Selection-1 were identified as PRSV tolerant lines.

Figure: PRSV tolerant papaya line Pune Selection-1 and 3 (PS-1 and PS-3) against susceptible check Red Lady.

  • Pune Selection-1 (PS-1) and Pune Selection-3 (PS-3) dioecious papaya lines with tolerance for PRSV-P have been registered with National Germplasm Registration Committee, ICAR, New Delhi.
  • Both PS-1 and PS-3 have been included in the MLT of AICRP(Fruits).

Integrated Management

Figure: Field demonstration of the technology developed by ICAR-IARI, RS, Pune: Integrated management of PRSV in papaya

  • - Use of tolerant lines,
  • - Planting of 3-5 border rows of banana/maize around papaya,
  • - Planting of papaya when the aphid population is low i.e. February in Pune,
  • - Fortnightly foliar application of insecticides likedimethoate(0.05%) and Neem oil (0.1%) alternately.

New disease

    • A new phytoplasma disease of papaya was reported for the first time from India.

Figure: Symptoms of phytoplasma infection on papaya (A) and its detection by PCR (B).

  • Combined infection of phytoplasma and PRSV was reported for the first time in papaya from India.

New host

  • Weed plants Cucumismelo, Alternantherasessilis, Datura metal and Xanthium indicum were established as alternate hosts for PRSV.

Development of PRSV resistant papaya lines using transgenic approach

  • A protocol for papaya tissue culture using immature embryos as explants material has been optimized with the aim to develop the genetically engineered papaya for Papaya ringspot virus resistance in papaya.

Figure:Tissue cultured plant development stages from immature embryos of papaya.


  • Partial genomes of six isolates of Citrus Greening Bacterium (CGB) were sequenced and sequence deposited in NCBI GenBank (Accession No. JQ692599 to JQ692604).
  • For management of aphid and psyllid vector on citrus, fortnightly sprays of acetemaprid (0.005%) in combination with neem oil (1%) was found most effective.


  • Banana Streak Virus (BSV) was detected for the first time from India in the cultivar Kanchikela, genotype ABB by PCR. The sequence was deposited in NCBI GenBank (Accession No. JQ045128).Partial genome of 14 isolates of Banana Mysore streak and 21 isolates of Banana streak virus (Kerala) were sequenced and deposited in NCBI GenBank (Accession No. JQ858263 to JQ858276) and (Accession No. JQ911600 to JQ911619 and JQ346523) respectively. Combined incidence of BSV andCucumber mosaic virus (CMV) was detected by PCR and ELISA respectively in banana cultivar Kanchikela.

Figure: A. Mixed infection of BSV and CMV, B. BSV, C. PCR detection of BSV

B.Vegetable crops:

  • Zucchini yellow mosaic virus was reported for the first time from India in zucchini. Subsequently, the occurrence of this virus was also reported for the first time in India in other cucurbitaceous crops, viz., muskmelon, bottle gourd, cucumber and sponge gourd

Figure: A. Symptoms of Zucchini yellow mosaic virus on zucchini and B. Virus particles

First Report of Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus (ZYMV) in Bell Pepper (Capsicum annum) in India


  • First time report: Watermelon bud necrosis virus infection on muskmelon in India and in watermelon in Maharashtra.


  • Occurrence of Groundnut bud necrosis Virus was reported for the first time in India on pumpkin, ash gourd and cucumber.
  • Papaya ringspot virus -watermelon strain was recorded in sponge gourd for the first time in India.


  • Potato virus Y was reported for the first time in drumstick (Moringaoleifera)


  • Natural occurrence of two potyviruses viz. tobacco etch virus (TEV) and Pepper veinal mottle virus (PVMV) in polyhouse grown capsicum was recorded for the first time in Maharashtra.
  • ZYMV was reported for the first time in bell pepper from India (GenBank Acc. No. MG100208). Diseased plants exhibiting vein banding, chlorosis, mottling, puckering, and reduced fruit size with a rough surface were observed during a disease survey of capsicum grown under protected cultivation in western region of Maharashtra (Kolhapur, Satara and Nashik districts).

Figure: Bell pepper infected with ZYMV along with CMV, PMMoV and TMV


    • Management of Tomato Mosaic Virus, Groundnut Bud Necrosis Virus and Tomato Leaf Curl Virus:

-Seed treatment by soaking in 0.3% trisodium phosphate for 48 hours.
- Maize as border crop (about 75 cm height before transplanting of tomato seedlings in 4-6 rows).
- Cucumber as a trap crop (by sowing three weeks in advance after every 4 rows of tomato).
-One line of marigold after every ten lines of tomato.
- Foliar application of Neem seed kernel extract (10% freshly prepared) with alternate spray of dimethoate (0.05%) at 10 days intervals after transplanting.


  • Occurrence of deadly pest South American tomato pin worm/leaf miner (Tutaabsoluta) was detected for the first time in the country. The pest was initially observed in Pune on tomato fields and in polyhouses during October 2014. The severe pest infestation (>50%) was observed in farmer’s fields in major tomato growing districts of Maharashtra viz., Ahmadnagar, Dhule, Jalgoan, Nashik, Pune and Satara. Subsequently, the pest alert has been issued in webpage of IARI and ICAR and in popular local Marathi newspaper.

Figure:Tutaabsoluta damaged tomato plants

A new Natural mutant, virus tolerant, dwarf tomato line having multiple utility

  • A virus tolerant dwarf line (Selection-24) has been identified and stabilized from segregating population of “Pusa Gaurav.” Plant is about 45-50 cm in height, producing attractive red colored, obovate shaped fruits. Line also has field tolerance to whiteflies and leafcurl virus disease. Selection-24 is useful for high density planting under open field condition. When grown as potted this genotype bears 44-50 fruits/plant. It is well suited for pot culture and vertical gardening.

Figure: Comparison of Selection-24 with the parent (A), growth in pots (B&C) and field (D), ripe (E) and raw fruits (F)

First report of new phytoplasma diseases associated with Melia azedarach and Phaseolus vulgaris in India

  • ‘CandidatusPhytoplasmaasteris’ – related strain (16SrI-B) was identified in Melia azedarach (GenBank Acc. No. MN830223) showing phyllody like symptoms and virescent flowers and ‘Ca. P. australasia’ –related strain (16SrII-D) was detected in Phaseolus vulgaris (GenBank Acc. No. MN700647) exhibiting proliferation of branches with shortened internodes, reduced leaf size, twisting of shoots, virescence and phyllody in fields near Pune.

Figure: Infected A) Melia azedarach andB) Phaseolus vulgaris plants showing phyllody-like symptoms

Integrated management of viral diseases in vegetable crops

  • Crop cover along with silver plastic mulch in combination with alternate sprays of insecticide and biopesticides were most effective in reducing the viral disease incidence and aphid, thrips and whitefly population in tomato, muskmelon and chili. Crop cover also helped in reducing the number of insecticide sprays.

Figure: Integrated viral disease management modules in tomato and muskmelon

First report in the world: Solanum whitefly, Aleurothrixustrachoides(Back). (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) as vector of begomovirus.

  • Solanum whitefly (Aleurothrixustrachoides)was not considered as a vector for any virus by European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO). But in our studies, it was established to transmit Duranta leaf curl virus (DLCV) in tomato, bell pepper and potato. The rate of virus transmission by solanum whiteflyfrom DLCV inoculated tomato to tomato, bell pepper and potato was 80-100%. However, virulent whiteflies from naturally infected duranta showed low rate of DLCV transmission to bell pepper (26%) and tomato (13%). Both transmissions were confirmed by Rolling Circle Amplification and PCR with specific primers.

Figure: Host plants of A. trachoidesobserved in Pune region.

Figure: Evaluation of wheat varieties CVT-2 and CVT-4 at

Externally Funded Projects

  1. Application of NGS technology for development of diagnostic kit for detection of emergingand re-emerging RNA virus population infecting major crops from selected ecosystems of Maharashtra [Funded by Department of Science and Technology GOI under WoS scheme; Budget: Rs. 36,63,220/- ; Duration: November 2019 to December 2022; Associated Scientist: DrVaishaliSurve (PI), DrSavarni Tripathi (Mentor)].
  2. Evaluation of Liquid and Granular organic products on growth, crop yield, incidence of yellow vein mosaic virus and whiteflies on okra (Abelmoschusesculentus. L.) [Funded by Anil Nutrients Limited, Ahmadabad; Budget: Rs. 6,76,095/-; Duration: 6 September 2016 to 30 September 2017; Associated Scientist: DrSwatiSaha (PI), Dr K. Chandrashekar and DrSavarni Tripathi (Co-PI)].
  3. Geminivirus diseases of vegetables: whitefly biotypes and virus strains in Western India [Funded by Department of Science and Technology GOI; Budget: Rs.25,22,000/- ; Duration: March 2017 to March 2020; Associated Scientist: Dr K Chandrashekar (PI)].
  4. Up-gradation of existing facilities at IARI Regional Station, Pune [Funded by ICAR; Budget: Rs. 289,00,000/-; Duration: August 2009 to May 2015; Associated Scientist: Dr Raj Verma and Savarni Tripathi, Head of RS Pune (PI)].
  5. Accredited Test Laboratory (ATL) under National Certification System for Tissue culture raised Plants (NCS-TCP) [Funded by Department of Biotechnology, GOI, Budget: Rs 27,07,000/- Duration: February 2009 to November 2013; Associated Scientist: Dr Raj Verma (PI)].
  6. Environmentally Sustainable Termite Control: Integrative & Inclusive Approach of Frontier and Indigenous Technologies (2011-17) [Funded by ICAR National Fellow Scheme; Duration: 2011 to 2017; Associated Scientist: Dr GK Mohapatra (PI)].

Other Miscellaneous is a contribution of a single scientist under National Fellow Project, exclusively on Termite R&D, a very narrow topic itself, still it showcases its worthiness in terms of total hits/visits (3.8 lakh), standing in top ten amongst TEN cite-worthy websites of ICAR.