Coffee Berry Disease: essential
| Disease Name, Other
Names, Crops Affected Causative
of the Agent Symptoms Prevention
||Coffee berry disease
||Green berry anthracnose
||The genus Coffea- the coffee plants.
|Description of the Agent
||C. coffeanum is an ascomycete, a member of the sac fungi.
One of the features of these fungi is that they generate spores, called
conidia or conidiospores, that can be easily dispersed by the wind
and splashing rain. Spread of C. coffeanum is dependent on
water but it can also be spread by animals with spread by coffee pickers
being a particular problem.
Colletotrichum invades the main body of the plant but does
so without any signs of disease. However, when the plant sets fruit,
the fungus becomes agressive and the disease becomes apparent. In
many cases, diseases caused by Colletotrichum are known as
anthracnose because they turn the fruit black.
||C. coffeanum affects green or immature coffee berries and
the coffee flower at any stage in its development. Infected berries
often show dark sunken spits that spread and coalesce to cover the
whole berry. As the fungus sporulates, a pale pink crust of conidia
appears on the lesion. Depending upon the timing of the infection,
the bean can also become infected.
In some cases, a milder scab-like disease occurs.
Losses of up to 75% of a crop have been reported.
|Prevention and Treatment
|| The fungus is critically dependent upon water for germination
and the dispersal of conidia. Measures that ensure good airflow and
prevent the accumulation of standing water can limit the spread.
Overhead spraying of fungicides can protect the flowers and berries
without necessarily protecting the rest of the plant. Effective
||The disease is currently confined to Africa and quarantine
is used to limit the spread. A number of African cultivars have been
found resistant, but some are susceptible to the disease