Phytoplasma ID, coconuts, PNG Minimize

February 2011. Publication on the occurrence of a phytoplasma in coconuts in PNG.

The Abstract:

In October 2008, coconut plantations in the villages of Tobenam, Pupun and Dugumor, located in the Bogia district of the Madang Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG), exhibited lethal yellowing-like symptoms in both newly planted and old palms. Symptoms started with premature nut fall, followed by leaf yellowing and collapse of the crown leading to the death of the plant. Inflorescence necrosis, a symptom frequently linked with lethal yellowing (LY), was absent. The disease spread rapidly from neighboring affected palms, and farmers have reported losses totaling over 5000 trees in the Bogia district.

Later, it was reported that the phytoplasma is not identical to the lethal yellowing pathogen in Jamaica, and it was speculated that the vector may be different too. A 'more local comparison' was said to be with Natuna wilt or Kalimantan Wilt in Indonesia.


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