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Sandalwood Spike Disease

Published on October 25, 2022
Current Context: Sandalwood Spike Disease (SSD) started to spread posing a major threat to the cultivation of sandalwood on a commercial basis in India.
Sandalwood Spike Disease
  • Bacterial parasites of plant tissues known as phytoplasma that are transmitted by insects as vectors, cause SSD.
  • Currently, no cure has been found for SSD and infected trees need to be cut down to stop the spreading of the disease.
  • This results in a loss of around 1-5% of sandalwood trees annually in the country.
  • The disease was first reported in the Kodagu district of Karnataka in 1899 which led to the cutting of more than a million trees between 1903 and 1916.
  • Sandalwood (Chandan) or Santalum album is a tree found in dry deciduous forests of India, China, Indonesia, Australia, and the Philippines. In India, it is mostly present in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh.
  • It has multiple uses in making:
  1. furniture
  2. soap
  3. perfumes
  4. medicines
  5. incense
  6. sandal oil
  7. dye


Q.1 The Sandalwood Spike Disease (SSD) is caused by?
a. Virus
b. Bacteria
c. Fungi
d. Protozoa
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