A network that helps people worldwide obtain rapid advice and information on crop protection, including the identification and management of plant pests.
PestNet is a network that helps people worldwide obtain rapid advice and information on crop protection, including the identification and management of plant pests. It started in 1999. Anyone with an interest in plant protection is welcome to join. PestNet is free and is moderated, ensuring that messages are confined to plant protection.
November 2011. Breadfruit trees are dying in Kolonia town, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. There is a crust on the outside of the trunk, white at first, later dark in color. Also present are longhorn beetles.
The crust is the sterile, non-sporing, growth of Phellinus noxius, a soil-inhabiting fungus. The common name of the disease is Brown root rot. This fungus is discussed by E Trujillo in his study of Pinglap disease of breadfruit on atolls of the former Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. The sterile crust can reach up to 1 m above soil level.
The disease has been reported widely in the Pacific.
Once the crust is seen on a tree there is nothign that can be done to prevent the tree from dying. Stopping the spread of the disease from the infected tree is important, however. This is what should be done:
Remove the infected tree, taking out as much of the root system as possible
Check adjacent trees for the presence of the crust, if possible exposing the larger roots near the trunk
In addition, a former member of SPC wrote that observations in Kiribati, Nauru and other countries, where death of breadfruit was reported, suggested that the age of trees was a factor in colonisation of trees by Phellinus. Traditionally, as trees aged, a root sucker was allowed to grow and take their place. Salt water incursion was also a factor. The fact that dieback and death due to Phellinus was prevalent in mid-aged and old trees agrees with the conclusions of Trujillo some years previously, and was also in keeping with observations in the Caribbean (Coates-Beckford PL and Pereira MJ (1992) Survey of root-inhabiting microorganisms on declining and nondeclining breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) in Jamaica. Nematropica 22(1):55-68 journals.fcla.edu/nematropica/article/view/64027/61695).
Information on methods of control of the disease as used in Taiwan Forestry Research Institute can be found at www.tfri.gov.tw/enu/rd_plant.
November 2011. breadfruit trees are dying in kolonia town, pohnpei, federated states of micronesia. there is a crust on the outside of the trunk, white at first, later dark in color. also present are longhorn beetles.