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M.Sc (Hons.)

Plant Diseases & Toxicogenic Insects

Plant diseases Mainly caused by Pathogens.

Insects along with direct impact on agricultural and horticultural crops

Also act as Vectors of plant pathogens.

Relationships between plant pathogens and their vectors are complex.

In absence of Pathogens insects causing plant diseases indirectly. No. of v.destructive plant diseases are caused by toxic substances Introduced into plant tissues by sucking insects.

Some imp. Terms related to Toxicogenic Insects

WALTER CARTER ( Pineapple Research Institute of Hawaii ). Review Article. Injuries To Plants Caused By Insect Toxins.2 Toxicogenic Insects

Insect Species produces toxic metabolites in plants . OR

Species of insects capable of secreting phytotoxic substances Toxiniferous

Condition which express the active toxic stage of a toxicogenic insect

Toxemias / Phytotoxemias / Toxicoses

Refers to the Group of plant diseases caused by Insects Toxins.

Term used for diseases characterized by local lesions caused by insect punctures e.g. lesions on apple due to feeding of rosy apple aphid.

Major differences b/t Toxicogenic insects & Viral diseases

Diseases by Toxicogenic insect
Cause by phytotoxic secretions or toxins Toxins. non reproductive in plants Disease can be recover Disease cannot transmitted by Grafting Disease control is possible by insect control

Viral diseases
Cause by Virus Can reproductive in plants Disease cannot or rarely recoverable Can transmitted by Grafting Disease once establish cant control

How Toxicogenic Insects Cause Disease?....

By injecting toxins via salivary secretions which effects.. By disturbing the working of some hormones By increase or decrease in quantity of certain enzymes

By direct and rapid killing of cells in and around site of feeding

By increase acidity of cell sap BY destruction of cell structures

Action of toxins in case of Leaf Spot Diseases of Carnation/plants.

Initially the insect injects some toxic metabolites/substances into wound

It may be an acid or of enzymatic nature Cause increase of oxidizing enzymes in cells where toxin reach. Enzymes interfere with nutrition of cells By destroying the chlorophyll and other biochemical changes. Result in death of cells appears as.spots


leafhoppers suck fluids from plants with their piercing sucking mouthparts. Inject saliva that contains a compound toxic to plants. Toxic & feeding clogs the conductive tissue of plants Resulting in an accumulation of starches

This accumulation causes a relative nitrogen deficiency resulting in yellowing or injured leaves. First symptom of potato leafhopper injury as a V-shaped yellowing at the tips of the leaflets (top photo), commonly referred to as "hopper burn"." As injury progresses, the leaves may turn purple or brown and then die.

Severely injured plants also are stunted and bushy in appearance because the internodes stop growing normally.

Important diseases caused by Toxicogenic Insects

Hopper burn of potato & Alfalfa.



Psyllid yellows of potatoes Froghopper blight of sugarcane Mealybug wilt of pine apple Leaf spots of carnation Green spotting of pine apple

Hoppers & Hopperburn on Alfalfa

Pine apple Mealybug and Wilt

Potato leaf hopper and hopperburn disease

Potato Psyllid adult

Potato Psyllid nymph

Galls cause by apple gall midges