Stunting eggplant, Maldives Minimize

January 2008. Farmers in Maldives have a new problem with brinjal (eggplant). As plants begin to flower, the leaves develop marks, as in attached photo, and flowers either drop, do not set or produce very stunted fruit. Plants are also stunted. suggestions as to the cause were requested.

One member asked if there were aphids on the young growth, and it was said there were only a few as the farmers use insecticides. There were also whiteflies, but the farmers have been saying that this problem only started this season.

Another possibility is mosaic caused by Potato virus Y. The sympoms on the leaf seem like early stages although the virus must have been there since the seedlings left the nursery. Aphyis gossypii and Myzus persicae are the vectors. If indeed the disease is virus, which seems to appear after 30-40 days in the field, it shows the transplantedseedlings may have already been infected. Nursery hygeine, including aphid proofing is crucial.