Chickpea is prone to be attacked by a large number of pathogens caused by fungi and viruses.  Though a dozen of diseases are infecting this pulse crop, wilt (Fusarium oxysporum  f. sp. ciceri), collar rot (Sclerotium rolfsii), stem rot (Sclerotina sclerotiorum), root rots (Rhizoctonia solani, R. bataticola), foliar diseases (grey mould -Botrytis cineria  ascochyta blight (Ascochyta rabiei) are most important. Almost all of the diseases and pathogens except wilts and dry root rot, are favoured by optimum to high moisture. While these diseases are aggravated by low moisture vis-à-vis moisture stress situations.  This understands the role of moisture in disease epidemiology is certainly an aid in formulating the management strategies for pulse crop diseases.

Important diseases of chickpea, affected areas in India and favorable conditions


Causal pathogen

Affected areas

Favourable conditions


Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris

All chickpea areas

Soil moisture of 30-60% WHC favourable, high moisture deleterious

Dry root rot

Macrophomina phaseolina

(Rhizoctonia bataticola)

All zones, severe in central and SZ

Semi-arid climate, low soil moisture in February-March or rainfed cropping

Ascochyta blight

Aschochyta rabiei

NWPZ especially Punjab

Humid and cool climate with high soil moisture

Collar rot

Sclerotium rolfsii

All zones

Humid and warm climate with high soil moisture or dense crop canopy

Stem rot

Sclerotina sclerotiorum

Foot hills, NEPZ, NWPZ

Cool climate, thick and luxurious growth and high moisture in crop canopy


Uromyces ciceris

Sporadic in NWPZ

Warm and humid conditions

Leaf blight

Alternaria alternate


Warm and humid conditions with rising temperature

Wet root rot

Rhizoctonia solani

All zones, more in NEPZ and Tarai areas

Warm climate and high moisture with sandy or sandy loam soil

Black root rot

F. solani


High soil moisture or heavy irrigation during December-January

Grey mold

Botrytis cineria

Tarai areas, part of NEPZ

High environmental humidity and cool climate

Powdery mildew

Oidiopsis taurica


Warm windy conditions with moisture under the crop canopy

Foot rot

Opercullella padwickii

Punjab and Delhi

Frequently irrigated field having high moisture


Pea leaf rool virus

Sporadic in all zones

Presence of vectors