RICE SHEATH MITE, STENEOTARSONEMUS SPINKI SMILEY – AN EMERGING PEST OF RICE, IN VARANASI DISTRICT, INDIADeepak Kumar Jaiswal, Janardan Singh, A.P. Singh and D.K. Singh
Rice is arguably the worldÂ’s most important food crop, serving as the staple food for more than half of the worldÂ’s population (Khush, 2005). Increasing global rice production in a sustainable manner is therefore a critical element in averting food shortages in the future (Normile, 2008). Insects and Mites present, an important constraint in rice production. Rice sheath mite, Survey was conducted in Varanasi district in Kharif season 2011 in the month of October, November and December for possible panicle mite infestation in fine and coarse varieties of paddy. These varieties were monitored for panicle infestation and extent of percentage grains sterility caused by Steneotarsonemus spinki was studied. There was a positive correlation between mite population and percentage of grain sterility in all medium duration varieties and all long duration varieties which were surveyed in the experiment. Lowest mite population and percentage of grain sterility was recorded in the bold seeded varieties, whereas high mite population was found in the long seed varieties. The sterility and chaffyness of grains are always not caused by panicle mite but some time, it is caused by some other insect like, rice Gandhi bug and thrips. In addition to abiotic and biotic stresses the genetic constitution of the plant variety might have played a significant role in regulating the mite population build-up. Very scanty information is available about the interaction of panicle mite with other biotic agents. Much research has to be done to explore the natural enemies like predatory mite which regulate mite population. No variety of paddy was not found to be immune to Steneotarsonemus spinki infestation.
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