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Rice In Sri Lanka - Rice Diseases

Leaf scald

Causative agent

Fungus, Monographella albescens (Microdochium oryzae)

Common and sometimes severe in major rice growing districts in Sri Lanka.

Plant parts and life stages affected

Mature leaves, panicles and seedlings


Seed borne and survives between seasons/crops via infected seeds

Lesions start on leaf tips or from the edges of leaf blades. 

The lesions have a chevron pattern of light (tan) and darker reddish-brown areas.

The leading edge of the lesion usually is yellow to gold in color resulting rice fields to appear yellow or gold.

Lesions from the edges of leaf blades have an indistinct, mottled pattern.

Affected leaves get dry and turn to straw-color. 

When panicles get infestations, a uniform light to dark, reddish-brown discoloration of entire florets or hulls of developing grain could be observed.

The disease can cause sterility or abortion of developing kernels.


Disease Management

Within the crop season

Application of urea in recommended dosages or application of urea based on leaf colour chart.

If the crop is infected, following management options should be applied for the next season

Use of certified seed paddy free from the disease

Weed management

Addition of burnt paddy husk (250 kg per acre) to the soil during land preparation.

Abstain addition of disease infected.