Chapter

Abiotic and biotic stresses in Plantation Crops: Adaptation and Management

In book: Crop Stress and its Management: Perspectives and Strategies, Edition: 1st, Publisher: Springer, Editors: B. Venkateshwarulu, A.K. Shanker, C. Shanker, M Mandapaka

ABSTRACT Plantation crops include perennials grown over large areas in monoculture, excepting fruit trees grown in orchards. These crops face both abiotic and biotic stresses, incited by factors those coexist in plantations. Although Plantation crops are well adapted and are grown mostly in the tropics, where innumerable stress factors operate. Historical significance of few stress havocs in plantation species is remarkable. A wide range of anatomical, physiological and biochemical features contribute to various stress adaptation in plantation crops. Notwithstanding, improvement of stress resistance in plantation species has been mandated to combat unfriendly factors that jeopardize intensive and extensive cultivation. Conventional breeding is cumbersome in plantation crops, where in the process has to involve many generations running for decades, and expensive in terms of time, space and large volume of individuals handled. Recent developments in molecular genetics and biotechnology are aiding acceleration of breeding process in plantation species. Integration of proper crop management strategies with improved cultivars is essential to meet the goals of stress management. This review presents a comprehensive coverage of various adaptive mechanisms and mitigation strategies for several biotic and abiotic stresses affecting major plantation crops like cardamom, cashew, cocoa, coconut, coffee, date, eucalyptus, oil palm, rubber and tea.

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    ABSTRACT: The rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros L., is an economically important pest of the coconut palm. Management of this pest has been accomplished using microbial agents viz., Oryctes virus (OrV) and an entomofungal pathogen Metarhizium anisopliae. Recently an opportunistic bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas alcaligenes has also been noticed to cause septicaemia in the grubs when under stress. To unravel the influence of abiotic weather factors and the interactions amongst these microbial pathogens, a 3 year study was conducted from September 1996 to August 1999 in three of the southern districts of Kerala, India. Of the 6627 grubs and 307 adults collected from various breeding sites of the pest, 5% of the grubs and 22% of the adults had natural virus infection, 3% larvae died of M. anisopliae mycosis and 20% larvae succumbed to bacterial septicaemia. Oryctes virus infection in grubs and adults was negatively correlated to minimum temperature (correlation co-efficient, r = –0.4, and –0.6 respectively, sample size, n = 0). Increase in relative humidity increased the fungal activity (r = 0.8) whereas, maximum temperature had a negative impact (r = –0.7). Occurrence of virus infection in grubs and adults was positively correlated (r = 0.6), supporting the contention of active transmission of the virus pathogen between these two stages. The bacterial septicaemia in the grubs was marginally correlated with virus infection and P. alcaligenes undermined the efficiency of the virus pathogen.
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