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Cacao Diseases pp 383-428 | Cite as

Ceratocystis Wilt Pathogens: History and Biology—Highlighting C. cacaofunesta, the Causal Agent of Wilt Disease of Cacao

  • Odalys García Cabrera
  • Eddy Patricia López Molano
  • Juliana José
  • Javier Correa Álvarez
  • Gonçalo Amarante Guimarães Pereira

Abstract

Ceratocystis is a genus of ascomycete fungi that includes aggressive pathogens of economically important plants worldwide. This fungus is the causal agent of Ceratocystis wilt disease and canker disease, which often kills the plant causing major losses in agricultural production. In the last two decades, emerging diseases related to Ceratocystis infections have been greatly increased. Ceratocystis wilt of cacao is caused by C. cacaofunesta, one of the three well-established host-specific pathogens in the genus. Ceratocystis wilt of cacao has caused sporadic epidemics in the Americas, but its importance is often underestimated. Furthermore, the disease represents a serious threat to the world’s cacao production due to the risk of pathogen spread. Silvicultural practices in cacao agroforests, the marketing of seeds, and cacao grafting in association with a minimal knowledge of the biology of the pathogen effectively contributed to this threat. This chapter explores the controversial taxonomic and evolutionary history of the genus Ceratocystis as well as the biology of C. cacaofunesta.

Keywords

Bark Beetle Cacao Tree Ambrosia Beetle Wilt Pathogen Ophiostomatoid Fungus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge Lyndel Meinhardt from the United States Department of Agriculture—Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and Derivaldo Evangelista de Jesus from Porto Novo Farm, who provided pictures of Ceratocystis wilt of cacao in the field. We would also like to acknowledge Professor Eduardo Galembeck and the undergraduate student Rafaela Raposo who also collaborated with photos of Ceratocystis wilt disease of cacao and the fungus C. cacaofunesta, respectively. This work was supported by research funding of Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), Grant number 2009/50119-9 and Centro Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq).

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Odalys García Cabrera
    • 1
  • Eddy Patricia López Molano
    • 1
  • Juliana José
    • 1
  • Javier Correa Álvarez
    • 2
  • Gonçalo Amarante Guimarães Pereira
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Genômica e Expressão, Departamento de Genética, Evolução e BioagentesInstituto de Biologia, Universidade Estadual de CampinasCampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Escuela de CienciasUniversidad EAFITMedellínColombia

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