Between April 19 and 24, 2010, Vietnamese scientists and 6 scientists and officials from the National Agro Technology Transfer and Extension Services Center (NATESC) in China’s Ministry of Agriculture visited northern Vietnam to study the new disease called the Southern Rice Black Streak Dwarf Virus (SRBSDV) transmitted by the white back planthopper (WBPH) and collaborate in bilateral monitoring of migration insects between the two countries. Numerous areas in Nam Dinh, Quang Nam and other provinces have fields with stunted plants as reported in Vietnam News.
The new disease, first discovered in 2001 in Guangdong, China has been reported to be spreading and in 2009, large areas in the Red River Delta of Vietnam had plants showing similar symptoms. In December009 Dr Bui Ba Bong, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, initiated the formation of a consortium to address concerns of this new potential threat. In January 2010 the China-IRRI-Vietnam consortium was established.
The diseased plants exhibit varying symptoms that seem to be typically caused by viruses. These mixed symptoms could be due to multiple infections by 2 or 3 viruses, which might include ragged stunt and grassy stunt transmitted by the brown planthopper and the new virus transmitted by WBPH. The Chinese scientists have collected samples of the diseased plants for further analyses in China.