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Cocoa-based media for culturing Phytophthora palmivora (Butl.) Butl., causal agent of black pod disease of cocoa


Green cocoa pod husk agar (GCPA), ripe cocoa pod husk agar (RCPA), green cocoabean agar (GCBA), ripe cocoa bean agar (RCBA), green cocoa mucilage agar (GCMA)and ripe cocoa mucilage agar (RCMA) were prepared and assessd for their clarity andfor potential to support mycelial growth and sporulation of P. palmivora. Oatmeal agar (OMA), potato-dextrose agar (PDA), vegetable 8 juice agar (V8JA) and pineapple crown agar (PCA) were included for comparison. The highest radial growth rates of 8.3 and 7.2 mm/day were recorded, respectively, on OMA and GCPA but these were not significantly different (P ≤ 0 05) from each other. The two media also supported good aerial mycelial growth but were not clear. Radial mycelial growth rates of 6.5, 7.0 and 6.6 mm/day were obtained on GCMA, RCPA and V8JA, respectively, and these rates were also not significantly different from each other. Of the three media, only the GCMA was clear and supported the best aerial mycelial growth. In comparison, the RCMA supported a significantly lower radial growth (4.6 mm/day) of P. palmivora than the three media. Growth rates were least on RCBA, PCA and PDA but sporulation was poorest on PDA, PCA and V8JA. GCMA was found to be the best medium based on all the growth parameters and media characteristics. GCMA has been used effectively to isolate/detect P. palmivora from infected cocoa pod tissues. Apart from differences in radial growth rate, both the GCMA and RCMA were similar in all other respects and are recommended for culturing P. palmivora.

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Awuah, R., Frimpong, M. Cocoa-based media for culturing Phytophthora palmivora (Butl.) Butl., causal agent of black pod disease of cocoa. Mycopathologia 155, 143–147 (2002).

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  • black pod
  • cocoa mucilage agar
  • culture media
  • Phytophthora palmivora