Sandalwood Spike Disease
*India’s sandalwood trees are facing a serious threat due to Sandalwood Spike Disease (SSD).
✓The natural population of sandalwood in Marymoor Sandal Forest of Kerala and various reserve forests in Karnataka, including MM Hills (Malai Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary), are heavily infected with SSD.
✓It is an infectious disease which is caused by phytoplasma.
✓Phytoplasmas are bacterial parasites of plant tissues.
✓They are transmitted by insect vectors and involved in plant-to-plant transmission.
✓There is no cure as of now for the infection.
✓The infected tree will have to be cut down to prevent the spread of the disease.