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Role of rainfall in the development of coffee berry disease in Coffea arabica caused by Colletotrichum kahawae, in Cameroon

Mouen Bedimo J.A., Bieysse D., Nyassé S., Nottéghem J.L., Cilas C.. 2010. Plant Pathology, 59 (2) : p. 324-329.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3059.2009.02214.x

The development of coffee berry disease (CBD) epidemics (caused by Colletotrichum kahawae) in Cameroon was monitored over two successive years (2004 and 2005) on coffee trees protected from rainfall by transparent plastic sheets and on unprotected control trees. This work was done to assess how rain affected disease development when it did not fall directly onto the coffee trees and to determine the influence of primary inoculum on the severity of CBD. Weekly observations over the 2 years showed that there were 1Æ1% diseased berries on coffee trees completely protected from rainfall, compared with 45% diseased berries on unprotected coffee trees. Disease severity on unprotected trees during the 2 years of the experiment was estimated at 53% diseased berries, compared with 27% on trees only protected in the first year. These results confirmed rainfall as one of the key physical factors in the development of Arabica CBD. They also provided evidence of a subsequent effect of protecting coffee trees from rainfall in 2004 on the severity of CBD in 2005. This suggested some practices that might lead to very effective cultural control of CBD in regions where severe epidemics of the disease occur.

Mots-clés : coffea arabica; colletotrichum; précipitation; cameroun; colletotrichum kahawae

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