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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Frederick, Maryland » Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #402366

Research Project: Diagnostics and Biological Approaches for Management of Emerging Oomycete Plant Pathogens

Location: Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research

Title: Epidemiology of cacao mild mosaic virus (CaMMV)

item Puig, Alina
item MEDINA, VIVIANA - Vmr Consulting
item Keith, Lisa
item Matsumoto Brower, Tracie

Submitted to: International Congress of Plant Pathology Abstracts and Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/14/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In the past few years, cacao mild mosaic virus (CaMMV) has been detected in USA, Brazil, England, and Indonesia, and is considered an emerging disease on Theobroma cacao. It reduces yield and causes branch dieback, posing a risk to the $12 billion global cacao harvest. Two widely known transmission routes are mealybug insects, and the use of infected material during grafting. Transmission can occur even when symptoms are not present. More recently, it was found that up to 68% of seedlings grown from seeds from infected mother trees were also infected. This is significant because although the importance of screening budwood for viruses is well understood, trees whose seeds are grown for rootstock are not routinely screened. It also means that the movement of whole pods can introduce the pathogen to new locations. Current research is also looking for alternative hosts of the pathogen. Relatives of T. cacao such as Ceiba spp. and Ochroma spp. are present in regions where the crop is grown commercially and could serve as inoculum reservoirs. This disease cannot be cured so preventing transmission and eliminating inoculum reservoirs are the most effective ways to combat it. CaMMV epidemiology and its implication on germplasm conservation and commercial production will be discussed.