Bakanae (バカナエ, [bakanae] BA-ka-NA-eh) or bakanae disease (Chinese: 馬鹿苗病, Japanese: バカナエビョウ, romanizedBakanae-byou, [bakanae bʲoɯ]), from the Japanese for "foolish seedling", is a disease that infects the rice plant. It is caused by the fungus Gibberella fujikuroi, the metabolism of which produces a surplus of gibberellic acid. In the plant, this acts as a growth hormone, causing hypertrophy. The afflicted plants, which are visibly etiolated and chlorotic, are at best infertile with empty panicles, producing no edible grains; at worst, they are incapable of supporting their own weight, topple over, and die (hence "foolish seedling disease").

A rice stem affected by the bakanae disease at the sporulation stage.

The earliest known report of bakanae is from 1828; it was first described scientifically in 1898 by Japanese researcher Shotaro Hori, who showed that the causative agent was fungal.[1]

The fungus affects rice crops in Asia, Africa, and North America. In epidemic cases yield losses may reach up to 20% or more. A 2003 publication from the International Rice Research Institute estimated that outbreaks of bakanae caused crop losses that were 20% to 50% in Japan, 15% in Thailand and 3.7% in India.[2]


  1. ^ A Short History of Gibberellins at
  2. ^ Suparyono, JLA Catindig; NP Castilla & F Elazegui (2009). "Rice Doctor's Bakanae Fact Sheet". Cereal Knowledge Bank (CKB). The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011. Economic importance: Crop losses caused by the disease may reach up to 20% in outbreak cases. For example, in Japan, a 20% to 50% loss was observed. Yield losses of 15% and 3.7% were reported in India and Thailand, respectively.

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