In news-Recently, researchers from Kerala have identified two new species of fungi from the genus Ganoderma – Ganoderma keralense and G. pseudo applanatum, that are associated with coconut stem rot.
About Basal stem rot disease & recent discoveries-
- Basal rot, also called bulb rot, is a widespread plant disease caused by a variety of fungi and bacteria that can infect all flower and crop bulbs.
- Basal stem rot of coconut is known by several names in different parts of India: Ganoderma wilt (Andhra Pradesh), Anabe Roga (Karnataka) and Thanjavur wilt (Tamil Nadu), to mention a few.
- The infection begins at the roots, but symptoms include discolouration and rotting of stem and leaves.
- In the later stages, flowering and nut set decreases and finally the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) dies.
- A reddish brown oozing has been reported only in India.
- Once infected, recovery of the plants is not likely.
- Another sign of infection is presence of shelf-like “basidiomata,” which are the fruiting or reproductive structures of the fungus, on the tree trunks.
- The basidiomata bear spores which are dispersed through wind and sometimes with the help of insects and this is how the pathogen spreads from one host to the other.
- Since the fungus is microscopic, it is only detected after the symptoms start manifesting or when the reproductive structures are borne, which can be too late.