Submitted to: Proceedings of the International Cocoa Producer's Conference
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2007
Publication Date: 3/20/2007
Citation: Holmes, K.A., Johnson, E.S., Kruass, U., Bateman, R., Bailey, B.A., Samuels, G.J., Suarez, C., Thomas, S.E., Evans, H.C., Adonijah, V., Rosenquist, E. Towards integrated control of frosty pod rot (moniliophthora roreri) of cacao: a model programme for pest and disease control. Proceedings of the International Cocoa Producer's Conference. Oct 15-17. Abstr. P.43. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Frosty pod rot (Moniliophthora roreri) of cocoa (Theobroma cacao) is a major biological constraint to cocoa production in Latin America. The pathogen is still in an invasive phase and poses a continuing threat to other cocoa growing areas of Latin America (Brazil and Bolivia), having recently invaded Mexico. The consequences of failing to manage frosty pod rot may be devastating should the pathogen spread further afield to West Africa. It has already impacted on the livelihoods of many smallholder farmers and their communities, who had traditionally relied on cocoa for their income. The potential for economic and environmental impact is very real. With this in mind, in 1998 USDA-ARS looked to develop a collaborative research programme, to find a means to control this devastating disease. Conventional control measures, including phytosanitation, have failed to halt the progress of frosty pod rot through Latin America. Alternative strategies were pursued to reduce the impact of frosty pod rot. Plant breeding, crop sanitation, rational pesticide use and biological control were, and are, still being investigated as a means to develop an integrated crop management (ICM) strategy, tailored to meet the needs of the smallholder farmers. Individual pathways for control of the frosty pod pathogen were investigated with an eventual view to combine all components in a definitive integrated control. Here we report on the development of this research programme and how the components have been combined in the field to produce the beginnings of a control strategy for frosty pod rot and the identification of resistance genes as a long-term means of identifying resistant germplasm. This foresighted control programme can be a model for facing the challenges of current, or future, pest and disease in cacao.