A Half-yearly Peer Reviewed Journal of Bangladesh Forest Research Institute

ISSN - Print: 1021-3279 | Online: -

Sandal wood, Sautalum album L. contains
fragrant oil in the scented heartwood which issold
by weight, and perhaps it is the most precious
wood in this part of the world (Troup 1921).
However, Bangladesh imports sandal wood for
commercial purpose. Recently, the Bangladesh
ForestResearch Institutehad undertaken research
work on the silvicultural aspects of this species to
help raise its commercial plantations. The Forest
Department has undertaken an afforestation
project with this species. As a consequence,
hundreds of seedlings were raised in polybags in
January, 1993. A serious root rot disease was
observed in late February of the same year.
The typical symptom of the disease was
manifested through the gradual browning of the
leaves of the seedlings. Brown spots appeared
first on the branch and tap roots, which later
turned black. The leaves of the infected seedlings
lost their freshness and began to die out with the
stem standing erect. The disease caused 50%
mortality of the seedlings within 3-5 days. One
fungus, Fusarium moniliformae Sheld. was consistently isolated from the samples. A pathogenicity
test confirmed that the fungus was the pathogen
of the root rot.
The root rot ofsandal wood seedlings was
successfully controlledby the use ofDithaneM-45
@ one gram/I of water. The fungicidal mixture
was sprayed over the diseased and healthy
seedlings in such a way that the mixture could
reach the rootsystem. A second spraywas applied
after an interval ofone week. Arrangermentswere
also made for allowing sufficient light on the
seedlings for about six hours a day.
This disease is a new record on sandal
wood in Bangladesh. Although root rot is a
common phenomenon in our forest nursery, the
disease was indeed a serious one. No report of
such kind of root rot is available. Excess moisture
causes damping-off to the sandal wood seedlings
(Troup 1921). However, it was not a case of
damping-off. F. moniliformae is mainly a soilbome
fungus which can cause leaf blight of maize, foot
rot of rice and mango floral malformation
(Rangaswami 1988). It also causes pre-and
post-emergence seedlings blight of maize
(Baruah et al. 1985). Rahman et al. (1980) isolated
F. moniliformae from agar,Aquillaraiaagallocha tree.
The fungus can survive in soil for a long period,
and isfound in fields having general deficiency of
water (Singh 1983). In Bangladesh, January and
February are the months of dry and cold
period of the year. So, this may be the favourable
time for its sporulation and infection in our

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