Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Possibilities of Seedling Diseases of Medicinal Plants on the Brahmagiri Hill- A Mountain Range in the Western Ghats, Nashik District, Maharashtra


Brahmagiri is a mountain range in the Western Ghats.  It is situated in Nashik district in the Indian state of Maharashtra.  Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple is located near this place. Brahmagiri, the hill (Giri) of Lord Brahma appears in many mythological and legendary documents. The first peak of Sahyadri is called Brahmadri.  The story associated with this is that Shankar was pleased with Brahmadev and said, "Your the name shall know me." Hence it is called Brahmagiri.  The mountain is 1800 ft high.  Its height from sea level is 4248 ft.  Five peaks of this mountain are called Sadyo-Jata, Vamdev, and Aghora. Ishana and Tat-Purusha and are considered as five mouths of Lord Shiva, and they are worshipped.  Its coordinates are 19056'N 73032'E.    Legend says that the saint Gautam and his wife Ahalya resided on this hill. Saint Gautam worshiped Lord Shiva to bring Ganga to this hill. This river is known as River Gautami in the Brahmagiri hills. Brahmagiri (1298 meters) is to the west of Trimbakeshwar, and this fort offers a commanding view of the Jawhar Mokhada region of Thane district. Trimbakeshwar itself is a place of worship because it is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva.

The term "medicinal plant" includes various types of plants used in herbalism ("herbology" or "herbal medicine").  The word "herb" has been derived from the Latin word "herba" and an old French word "herbe." Now a day's herb refers to any part of the plant like fruit, seed, stem, bark, flower, leaf, stigma or root, and the non-woody plant.  Earlier, the term "herb" was only applied to non-woody plants, including those that come from trees and shrubs.  These medicinal plants are also used as food, flavonoid, medicine or perfumes, and some spiritual activities.

 Medicinal plants are having various uses, such as an anticancer drug. Medicinal plants are considered as rich resources of ingredients that can be used in drug development.  Apart from medicinal uses, herbs are also used in natural dye, pest control, food, perfumes, tea, etc. It also reduces diarrhea, constipation, hypertension, low sperm count, dysentery, piles, coated tongue, menstrual disorders, bronchial asthma, etc. Most medicinal plants have diseased in their seedling stage; hence, there is an economic loss caused. It also affects the diversity of rare, endangered, endemic, native, vulnerable plant species. Because of disease attacks, the whole plant gets destroyed suddenly.

 The meaning of seedling is that "a plant or tree grew from a seed, not yet 1 meter high".  Another meaning is a "seedling is a young plant that has been grown from a seed." So medicinal herbs infected by various diseases at their seedling stages. There is essential information on crop plants. Nevertheless, such information is very insignificant in medicinal plants under cultivation and naturally growing (Hanna Blum et al. 2006). Medicinal herbs have long played important roles in the treatment of diseases all over the world. Medicinal plants are a source of a wide variety of natural antioxidants and are used to treat diseases worldwide. Some of these properties are antimicrobial, anticancer, antidiabetic, antiatherosclerotic, immunomodulatory, and even renoprotective effects.  Most medicinal plants have specific compounds other than antioxidants, which are useful in treating or preventing diseases. In this regard, medicinal plants have also been a reliable source of new drugs (Mahmoud Rafieian-Kopaei, 2012). Today's herbal products symbolize safety in contrast to the synthetics that are regarded as unsafe to humans and the environment. There are 2, 50,000 higher plant species on earth, more than 80,000 are medicinal. India is one of the word's 12 biodiversity centers with over 45,000 different plant species.  In India, herbal origin drugs have been used in traditional systems of medicines such as Unani and Ayurveda since ancient times. The drugs are derived from the whole plant or different organs, like leaves, stem, bark, root, flower, seed etc.  Some drugs are prepared from excretory plant products such as gum, resin, and latex. Even the Allopathic system of medicine has adopted several plant-derived drugs. Some essential chemical intermediates needed for manufacturing modern drugs are also obtained from plants.

 India is floristically rich and ranking 10th   among the world's plant resources-rich nations and 4th among Asia's countries. India is the 7th largest country globally and Asia's 2nd largest nation with an area of 3,287,263 Sq.Km. and is an example of diverse ecosystems (Swingland, 2001).  The damping-off disease is caused by a soil-borne fungus Rhizoctonia solani that attacks germinated seedlings that have not yet emerged or have just emerged (Goner A. Shaker, 2016).  Damping-off of seedling is very common all over the world.  It occurs in agriculture and forest soils, tropical and temperate climates, and almost every greenhouse or nursery.  Damping-off can be of two types: pre-emergence damping-off. The seeds and radical rot before the seedlings emerge from the soil and the post-emergence damping-off in which the newly emerged seedlings are killed at ground level after they emerge from the soil, causing them to collapse.  This is a common symptom of post-emergence damping-off.

There are various medicinal plants occurred in the Western Ghats such as Acalypha ciliate, Acalypha indica, Achyranthes aspera, Adhatoda zeylanica, Aegle marmelos, Areca catechu, Azadirachta indica, Asparagus racemosus, Withania somnifera, Bidens pilosa, Butea monosperma, Calotropis gigantea, Canna indica, Cassia tora, Cleom viscosa, Emblica officinalis, Saraca asoca, Phyllanthous amarus(Bhumi Amla), Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi), Swirtia chiraita(Chiraita), Gymnema sylvestre (Gudmar), Commiphora wightii (Guggul), Tinospora cordifolia(Gulvel), Gloriosa superb(Calihari), Andrographis paniculata (Kalmegh, Bhui neem), Solanum nigrum (Makoi), Rauvolfia serpentina ( Sarpagandha), Casia augstifolia (Senna), Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi), Mentha piperita(Peppermint) Lawsonia innermis ( Henna, Mehndi), Aloe vera(Korphad), Catharanthus roseus (Periwinkle, Sadafuli), Plumbago zeylanica (Swet Chitrak), Strychinos nuxvomica (Kochila), Terminalia chebula (Hirda), Terminalia bellerica (Behda), Tribulus terrestris (Gokhru), Macuna pruriens ( Khajkuhili) etc.

 Such a wide range of medicinal plants found on the Western Ghats, Brahmagiri hills, is a mountain range in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra State.  Hence found a large amount of wild herbal medicinal plants.  Medicinal plants are also suffered fungal diseases at their seedling stages like any other food and fodder crops. However, herbal medicinal plant diseases are not given that much importance, like other commercially important crops.  Herbal plants also cause damping-off seedling, seedling blight, root rot, stem rot, leaf spot diseases, etc.  There are various types of fungal diseases of herbal medicinal plants viz. Phytophthora stem blight and root rot. Aerial stem blight and root rot are caused by Phytophthora nicotianae and occasionally other species.  Pythium root rot, this pathogen does not cause branch blight, only root rot, and damping-off of seedlings.  Rhizoctonia stem and root rot, Rhizoctonia species sometimes causes stem rot to turn yellow, wilt, and collapse.  Affected plants are stunted; their roots have brown lesions, leaves turn yellow, and plant wilt even when soil moisture is sufficient.

Gray-mold Botrytis Blight, this disease caused by Botrytis cineria is seen occasionally during cold, moist spring weather.  The pathogen usually builds-up on dead plant parts, and disease develops when these come into contact with living tissue.  Symptoms progress rapidly and include leaf spots and blights, stem cankers, stem rots, and damping-off seedlings.  Black root rot is caused by the fungus Thielaviopsis basicola.  The primary root problems in Asparagus include Fusarium crown and root rot and Phytophthora rot (Wade H. Elmer). The damping-off disease is caused by soil-borne fungus Rhizoctonia solani that attacks germinated seedlings that have not yet emerged or have just emerged.  Fennel crops suffer from many diseases causing by fungi pathogens, such as Rhizoctonia solani, Pythium aphanidermatum, Cercospora sp., Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Alternaria alternate, and Fusarium oxysporum (Khare et al. 2014). 

Most of the herbal medicinal plants die at their seedling stage.  There are many reasons to cause diseases at their seedling stage viz- air-borne fungi, weather change, soil-borne fungi, etc. Very few information is available about the incidence, prevalence, epidemiology, and management of herbal medicinal plants' seedling diseases.  There is little information, or research work is available on seedling diseases of herbal medicinal plants.  The amount of damage the disease causes to seedlings depends on the fungus, host tolerance/susceptibility, soil moisture, and temperature.  Seedlings may die before or after they emerge from the soil (pre-emergence and post-emergence damping-off, respectively).  Seedlings in seedbeds often are destroyed by damping-off, or they die after transplanting.  Hence, try to investigate eco-friendly management practices; hence it will reduce the hazardous effects caused by environmentally harmful management practices.  In that uses of Biorational pesticides; these pesticides are defined as products that are considered to be environmentally friendly because they have minimal harmful effects on non-target organisms and the environment; they are frequently more "user friendly" than traditional pesticides (Biochemicals which include plant products such as essential oils and various compounds synthesized by other organisms such as chitin and chitosan).  Indeed, these biopesticides present many advantages in terms of sustainability, mode of action, and toxicity compared to chemical pesticides.  By using antagonism or biological pesticides, it is also called antibiosis-these pesticides are living agents called biological control agents.  For example, by using certain bacteria, fungi can be controlled ecofriendly.

Nevertheless, including these things, certain drawbacks of the biocontrol agent are that they have certain limitations, which means they resist pathogens' growth at a certain level. In contrast, biocontrol agents are affected by environmental changes. However, on the other hand, chemical fungicides do not affect environmental changes; hence, they try to use chemical fungicides that cause a minimal effect on the host. Its residual effects do not persist for an extended period.  By thoroughly investigations of seedlings diseases of herbal medicinal plants uses of wild varieties of medicinal plants seeds would be done for that seeds will be collected from Brahmagiri hills, Western Ghats region because to know the reason behind seedling diseases which infection generally come from soil(pre-emergence or post-emergence of seedlings).  Due to this, most herbal medicinal plants die at their seedling stages. It losses generally on the nursery bed whenever economic losses take place because the whole plant gets destroyed.  Hence, to overcome this problem (seedling diseases) after transplantations and avoid economic losses. 

  It can save the loss of biodiversity and the conservation of herbal medicinal plants.  Because many medicinal herbs are affected by seedling diseases such as Pythium, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, etc., it creates more significant amounts of biodiversity loss. 


  1. Good morning
    Very informative article you have posted in your website. Keep it up, many people will get benefited by your efforts.



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