, Volume 164, Issue 1, pp 1-11
Date: 24 Apr 2008

Genetic diversity among coconut varieties for susceptibility to Cape St Paul Wilt Disease

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Abstract

The CSPWD is the Ghanaian form of lethal yellowing disease (LYD) of coconut, caused by a phytoplasma and has been active in Ghana since 1932. The paper updates the results of screening trials conducted with 38 pure and hybrid coconut varieties since 1981. Although no variety was found totally resistant, a wide range of susceptibility level was observed: almost all SGD were still unaffected, while the local WAT had almost totally disappeared, additive values were calculated for the parental varieties and it was shown that, in the average, hybrids are slightly more susceptible than predicted by a purely additive model. According to this genetic model, the SGD × VTT hybrid will be appreciably less susceptible than the MYD × VTT currently being used for replanting devastated farms in Ghana. Our results tend to confirm the general trend that cultivars from the Pacific group (especially the Dwarfs) are less susceptible than the Indo-Atlantic cultivars. Proposals are made to adapt planting material to the risk level. Genetic control can only be efficient if it is considered as a link in a chain of control measures involving the choice of a proper planting site, good management and early eradication of diseased trees.