Coffee berry disease in Kenya

H. Vermeulen

Research output: Thesisexternal PhD, WU

Abstract

Data are presented on research in Kenya in 1964 - 1969 on anatomical, mycological, epidemiological, chemical control and cultural aspects of coffee berry disease, <em>Colletotrichum coffeanum</em> Noack, of <em>Coffea arabica</em> L. The pathogen causes flower and berry losses and was found in branches where it occupied clearly defined areas of the cortex just before or after formation of the first phellogen. Saprophytic <em>Colletotrichum</em> spp. inhabit bark areas with more periderms in the cortex. No relationship could be found in Kenya between <em>Glomerella cingulata</em> (Stonem.) Sp. & Schr., the perfect stage of most of the saprophytic <em>Colletotrichum</em> bark components, and <em>C. coffeanum</em> . The seasonal fluctuations in pathogenicity in the bark population of <em>C. coffeanum</em> could be assessed and compared with the total sporulating capacity of the bark population of all <em>Colletotrichum</em> spp. Formerly the level of this total sporulating capacity, or 'inoculum potential' as it was then called, was used as an indication when pre-rain copper sprays had to be applied and how effectively the fungicide had reduced the bark inoculum. Based on these data the recommendations for chemical control were changed from pre-rain fungicide applications, to a spraying regime well into the rainy period, the accent being on protection of the berries rather than on a reduction of the bark inoculum. The fungicide Ortho Difolatan proved to be more effective than copper based compounds. Cultural practices, like the application of high levels of fertilizers, manure and mulch and rigid pruning practices, had no effect on the level of <em>C. coffeanum</em> in branches. Copper containing fungicides pushed the Colletotrichum balance in favour of <em>C. coffeanum</em> . Berries from non-copper sprayed coffee fields were less susceptible to standard conidial suspensions of <em>C. coffeanum</em> than berries from copper sprayed trees. A similar effect of fungicides should be considered in South and Central American coffee growing countries, where the application of fungicides has increased tremendously since the occurrence of Hemileia vastatrix Berk. et Br. in Brazil.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Dekker, J., Promotor, External person
Award date28 Feb 1979
Place of PublicationWageningen
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 1979

Keywords

  • coffea
  • coffee
  • kenya
  • plant pathogenic fungi

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