Young sunflower plants in the college Botanical garden were seen to show white powdery growth on upper surface of the leaves. Detailed study revealed the following symptoms:
- Appearance of white powdery mass on leaves
- Lower leaves heavily infected than upper ones
- Severely infected leaves turning yellow and later dried out
The collected sample on analysis under foldscope revealed Powdery mildew attack due to the fungal pathogen Erysiphe cichoracearum. The pathogen forms white moldy mycelium on upper surface of leaves which penetrates the cells by formation of peg-like growths called haustoria to obtain nutrients. The conidia in abundance were seen to be detached from the conidiphores and the point of attachment could be clearly marked.
The timely detection of the disease led to adoption of control measures thus preventing the loss.