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Red root lesions in the coffee plant and symptoms of dieback in the aerial parts



Red root lesions in the coffee plant and symptoms of dieback in the aerial parts



Rev Cafetera Colombia 15(137): 43-49



The infection which reached considerable proportions in the coffee zone of Venecia (Antioquia) was caused by Nectria sp. but was complicated by symptoms of "dieback" induced by Colletotrichum coffeanum. The latter grows best at 22[degree]C and germinates and penetrates rapidly into the coffee fruits. The fungus which lives naturally as a saprophyte of the soil on decomposing vegetable matter, behaved in this case as a wound parasite, invading the inner bark from the part damaged by tools or by insects. When the infection was advanced there was a noticeable yellowing of foliage and loss of vigor, particularly in the dry season. The disease can be controlled best by hand weeding near the trees to avoid damaging them; burning dead trees will prevent spread of the pathogen. If the infections are localized commercial formalin in a 2% water solution can be used as a disinfectant. Once the infection has been eliminated, Bordeaux mixture can be used as a protective agent in clean tissues. Scoring the bark in concentric folds around the wound will sometimes tend to limit advance of the fungus. Fermate proved effective in control of Colletotrichum.

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