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Swollen Shoot, a new virus disease of the cacao tree in West Africa

Swollen Shoot, a new virus disease of the cacao tree in West Africa

Rev Internat Bot Appl Et Agric Trop 26(283/-284): 166-173

In 1936, Stevens found that the disease called Swollen Shoot was caused by virus, although its effects had long been observed. Symptoms appear chiefly on the branchlets and leaves. The branchlets show a swelling caused by hyperplasia of the cambium; the leaves show various mosaic patterns. Accordingly as the virus operates alone or simultaneously with others, English workers distinguished 8 vars.[long dash]New Juaben, Bosa, Kpcve, Nkaw-kaw, Croton stouns, Wiawso, Kobuso, and an unnamed var. Transmission seems to be effected by insects of the eoccid group: Ferrisiana virgata (for New Juaben and Bosa), Pseudococcus exitiabilis (for New Juaben) and P. atri (for Kpeve and Nkaw-kaw). Diffusion is very slow but sure; no tree in an infected area can permanently escape. The disease is reported in various countries of W. Africa. The only control utilized is the destruction of affected trees. Investigations are under way to find other means of control, such as preventive inoculation with the mild var. Bosa, the isolation of vars. which endure the disease, and towards the possibility of rejuvenescence of the plantations.

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