Nguyen Van Tuat
Vice President, Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS)
The new virus disease of rice called the Southern Rice Black Streak Dwarf Virus (SRBSDV), discovered in 2001 by virologists in Guang Dong province, China has been spreading in many of the southern provinces of China and northern provinces of Vietnam. The virus is vectored by the white back planthopper (WBPH) that has become dominant in many areas planted to hybrid rice varieties. In January 2010, the Rice Planthopper Project of IRRI formed the formation the China-IRRI-Vietnam consortium for rice virus research to initiate more research needed to develop management strategies. In China the Ministry of Science and Technology awarded a “973” project for planthopper research in which one component is for development of virus management strategies.
Recently the Vietnamese government has provided VND 2.5 billion (~ US$ 130,000) for two years from the State’s biotechnology program to the Plant Protection Research Institute (PPRI) and VAAS to support research. The main objectives of the project are to enhance skills in diagnosis, develop a RT-PCR based method for rapid detection and to develop collaborative research with China.
In April 2010, the virus research team from Hanoi found that samples from Phu Tho, Thai Binh, Hainam and Hanoi in the Red River Delta were tested positive for the rice ragged stunt virus (RRSV) transmitted by the brown planthopper (BPH) and mainly occurs in the Mekong Delta. In Hue and Dien Bien, both viruses were detected from samples indicating that cross infections are occurring. These results were confirmed by Professor Guohui Zhou of China.