Little leaf of brinjal

Pathogen name: Mycoplasma Like Organism (= phytoplasma)
Host name: Brinjal (Solanum melongena)
Transmission: Disease is transmitted by leafhopper vector Hishimonus phycitis

Discovery and distribution

Little leaf of brinjeal was first reported from Coimbatore by Thomas and Krishnaswami in 1939. The disease is now widespread throughout India.


Little leaf of brinjal
Plant of brinjal showing normal leaves (out of focus) and little leaves (in the center). Photograph provided by Mr. Pradeep Singh

Stunting of plant, reduction in leaf size and rosette appearance are the most prominent symptoms of little leaf disease of brinjal or eggplant. This is because, infection induces the dormant axillary buds and reduces the growth of internodes. In severe infection floral part become leafy and (Phyllody).

Disease cycle and transmission

Little leaf is caused by phytoplasma (earlier known as Mycoplasma Like Organisms , MLO). Causal organism of little leaf also infects the other solanaceous plants like chili, tomato and datura. When brinjal is grown nearby, the phytoplasma is transmitted to the brinjal through the vector Hishimonus phycitis.

Control measures

  • Population of vector can be controlled by using Profenofos or Cypermethrin.
  • Yellow sticky traps should be installed to divert the insect vectors.
  • Spraying with antibiotic, tetracyclin hydrochloride and streptomycin sulfate suppress the infection.
  • Affected plants should be removed and burnt.

Content first created on 30-09-2020
last updated on 24-11-2021