A wide variety of pathogens are known io be seedborne, carried either as infectious mycelium internally or as contaminants on the seed coat. When seed is infected with a pathogen, the seed nay be rendered nonviable or it may remain viable but produce weak seedling. In some cases, the Infected seedling nay not be severely weakened, but nay serve as a source of primary inoculum within a community of plants. A recent problem nay be the dissemination of seedborne pathogens occurring as a result of the massive movements of seed, as a part of the 'Green revolution' Disease of great danger to agriculture may be introduced with seed from other parts of world. Seed treatment with organic mercury compounds in liquid form had become popular since about 1955. Organic mercury compounds contributed considerably to the increase in production of many crops and vegetables. In 1975, however, the use of organic mercury compound was forbidden because of doubts regarding their residual mammalian toxicity in agricultural products. Benomyl-thiram mixture, thiophanate methyl-;hiram mixture and TCMB have now been registered as seed disinfectants for the use of rice blast, brown spot and Bakanae disease. Oxathiinsthiram mixture has been registered as seed disinfectant for barley and wheat loose smut and leaf stripe of barley. Agricultural techniques have made such rapid progress that the nursery methods changed from the use of paddy nursery to box nursery designed for machine-transplanting. The spread of rice transplanting machines has caused increase of seedborne diseases. Among seedborne diseases, Bakanae disease has remarkably increased and causes much damage recently. In order to counter this trend, seed disinfectants must also be diversified. First, effective non-selective disinfectants need to be developed, and second, appropriate control methods always need to be prepared in parallel with the development of new techniques for cultivation.
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