Indian Institute of Spices Research

Success Stories
Phyllody disease of black pepper- Association of Phytoplasma
Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), phytoplasma is detected in black pepper vines with phyllody symptoms. A 1.20 kb DNA fragment encoding the portion of phytoplasm 16S rDNA consistently amplified by nested PCR is cloned and sequenced. The sequenced region contained 1230 nucleotides. Sequence analyses showed that the gene is most closely related to members of aster yellows group (16 Sr I) of phytoplasm. The sequence identify with members of aster yellows group (16 Sr I) is >98% while that with members of other groups (16 Sr II to 16Sr XV and other undesignated groups) ranged from 88 to 96%. On the basis of sequence identify, it is concluded that phytoplasma infecting black pepper in India belongs to aster yellows group.
Transmission of Badnavirus through citrus mealy bug
Citrus mealybug (Planococcus citri (Risso), commonly found associated with black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) in India is shown to transmit the Badnavirus associated with stunted disease of black pepper by symptomatology and polymerase chain reaction using Badnavirus specific primers.
Markers for Phytophthora tolerant black pepper
RAPD profiles of Phytophthora tolerant lines, P-24, HP-780, HP-3, HP-1, C-1090, C-1095 showed a distinct band of ~300 bp (OPA 01) in all the lines. This band was eluted, further amplified by PCR using the same primer and cloned in E.coli. The fragment is being sequenced in order to develop SCAR marker, which could be used for screening large population of seedlings.
Spike shedding in black pepper
Spike shedding studies in black pepper at higher altitudes indicated that the incidence varied from 9 to 87 % in different field situations and spike infection varied from 13-83.4% and highest infection was recorded in the plants under high shaded conditions. Anthracnose infection, as a cause for spike shedding, recorded on 11 released varieties and 14 popular cultivars revealed that Panniyur-1 and Panniyur-3 are highly susceptible while the cultivars 'Chumala', 'Thevanmundi', 'Karimunda', 'Chettalli selection', 'Aimpirian' and 'Arakulammunda' are having field tolerance to Anthracnose incidence.
Vanilla andamanica - cytology and seed culture
Cytological study of Vanilla andamanica revealed a chromosome number of 2n=40. Presence of super numary chromosomes are also observed. Crossed and selfed seeds of pink and white flowered types of Vanilla andamanica are germinated in vitro.
Promising  PGPR isolates
Promising isolates of rhizobacteria suppressing nematodes, Radopholus similis and M. incognita, screened against Phytophthora capcisi revealed that the PGPRs, IISR-658, IISR-853 and IISR-869 are also good in inhibiting P. capsici under laboratory studies. These organisms are good phosphorus solubilizers as well. Studies with different isolates of PGPR against soft rot disease of ginger showed that PGPR isolates IISR-13, IISR-51, IISR-151, IISR-152 and IISR-906 are effective in reducing the disease incidence to less than 5%. Endobacterial consortium is also found to suppress Ralstonia solanacearum in ginger.
'Mahima's resistance to nematodes - further confirmation
Studies conducted by the Nematology Department, Anand Agricultural University, Anand, Gujarat not only confirmed the resistance of 'Mahima' ginger variety of IISR, Kozhikode against M. incognita but also revealed its resistance against M. javanica (pathotype 1) as well.
Optimum Zinc level for ginger
Studies conducted by the Nematology Department, Anand Agricultural University, Anand, Gujarat not only confirmed the resistance of 'Mahima' ginger variety of IISR, Kozhikode against M. incognita but also revealed its resistance against M. javanica (pathotype 1) as well.
Effect of Zinc on black pepper
In zinc deficit soils, foliar application ZnSo4 (0.5%) gave 20% increase in yield of black pepper.
Piper Genebank
A new exsitu wild Piper genebank is established by planting 300 wild Piper collections at IISR, experimental farm, Peruvanna-muzhi. The important collections from Silent valley forests, Nelliampathy, North-East, India, Karnataka and Andaman Nicobar Islands are planted in this genebank, simulating the forest habitat.
Spices varieties
The IISR ginger varieties Varada, Mahima and Rejatha are becoming more and more popular. The TAR-IVLP success stories were brought out by the Agro Ecosystem Directorate (Coastal), Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram and Spice India 17(9): 2004 carried success stories of the varieties.
Expert System Developed
Expert system (Soil Lab) for fertilizer recommendation to major spices, plantation and some vegetable crops was developed based on soil test results by Srinivasan, V., Hamza, S and Jayarajan, K.
Multiplication and distribution of ‘Viswasree’ variety and other elite lines of nutmeg
The cultivation of nutmeg is attracting the attention of farmers owing to the steady increase in demand and attractive prices. The Spices Board under the Ministry of Commerce is also encouraging its cultivation due to the anticipated increased use of nutmeg products in European markets and also because of the ideal agro-climatic situations prevailing in South India for its cultivation. It is argued that India has the potential to be a world leader in nutmeg production and export. As a result, there is a huge demand for grafts of good varieties.....
Vermicomposting for Organic Farming and Income Generation
Organic farming in Kerala is yet to gain momentum just because of the low availability of quality organic manures like farm yard manure and compost. The technology of vermicompost production using unutilised crop residues and household wastes that are available in plenty, is already gaining popularity among farmers of neighbouring states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu since 2000......
Mixed farming in farmer’s field - A success story
Sri. Jojo, Randuplackal house, aged 30 years is a resident of the Chakkittapara Panchayat, located in the north-east hilly tracts of the Calicut District in Kerala. His parents migrated long ago from the southern parts of Kerala to the Malabar region in hope of better living conditions. They had eleven children and owned 10 acres of land......
Integrated Management of Phytophthora Foot Rot of Black Pepper
Black pepper is affected by a multitude of pests and diseases which are identified as major production constraints. Of these, foot rot (quick wilt) caused by a soil borne fungus (Phytphthora capsici) is a disease of importance. The disease can assume epidemic proportion causing extensive damage to the crop. Studies conducted at the institute showed that complete death of vines ranges from 11- 30% in northern districts of Kerala. Absence of high degree of host resistance, susceptibility of all plant parts and prolonged climatic factors are highly conducive for disease development; all these render disease management an onerous task........
Ginger Cultivation - A farmer success story
Mr. B. Sasikumar is a graduate in hotel management and is working as a manager in a reputed hotel in Trichur District of Kerala. Born in a farmer’s family, 36 year old Sasikumar has shown keen interest in agriculture as a part time vocation. At present he is managing his 10 acre farm where the major crops like paddy, coconut, arecanut and rubber are cultivated...