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SUDDEN DECLINE, DATE PALM - PAKISTAN: (SINDH)

A ProMED-mail post
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Date: Sun 11 Feb 2018
Source: The News [edited]
<https://www.thenews.com.pk/ print/279409-mysterious- blight-mowing-down-date- plantations>

[A] mysterious blight [is] mowing down date plantations. [It] has
caused killing of date trees in Khairpur district, triggering a wave
of panic among date producers. Information from farmers and
researchers revealed that nobody is capable enough, despite collecting
soil samples from plant roots, to identify the exact problems which
are making trunk and trees dying one after another.

Agriculture scientists agreed that soil nutrient deficiency is
increasing. [A] growing trend of multi-cropping is [also] considered
harmful to soil fertility. In the district, numerous date gardens are
as old as 60 to 80 years. Some trees are even 100-year old, but are
still bearing fruits. After witnessing the losses, farmers are
reluctant to plant new date trees. Some cut the affected trees
instantly to save others.

"The "virus" first hit Khairpur 4 to 5 years ago and now it is
endemic," [a farmer] said. Farmers said if the emerging threat
continues to harm tall trees the date production may decline and
worsen [their] vulnerability.

[Byline: Jan Khaskheli]
--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

[Date palm (_Phoenix dactylifera_) is cultivated in many hot, dry
regions as a staple food source. A large number of fungi and some
other pathogens, as well as several diseases of unknown aetiology have
been reported for this crop and productivity has declined globally..

An unknown disease attacking date palms in Sindh has been reported
since about 2008 (see ProMED-mail posts
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20100503.1435,
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20090806.2776,
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20080730.2323]. Symptoms of this 'sudden
date decline' (SDD) were reported to be similar to Bayoud disease
(_Fusarium oxysporum_; ProMED-mail post
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20080909.2817) and may include bleaching
and drying of fronds, followed by death of the tree. Although the
report above mentions a "virus", it is likely that this is used as a
general term to indicate disease and that the problem described is
SDD.

In 2014, several fungal species were isolated from different plant
parts of SDD affected trees in various locations in Khairpur
(ProMED-mail post http://promedmail.org/post/ 20140723.2629399).
However, association of these fungi with diseased palms does not prove
their causal role (Koch's rules must be fulfilled, i.e. re-isolation
of the pathogen after culture and transmission; see ProMED-mail post
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20171228.5526316). It is currently thought
that SDD is due to several pathogens and possibly other factors as
well. Environmental and nutritional stress (as mentioned above) may
predispose palms for infection.

Until a cause can be identified and effective management strategies
can be designed, fungicide sprays have been found to improve palm
condition (see links below) and to enable fruit production for longer
periods. Tissue culture programmes for crop improvement that could be
used to produce disease-free replanting material have been established
in Pakistan (ProMED-mail post
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20090806.2776) and other countries.

A sudden decline of date palms caused by bacteria in the genus
_Erwinia_ has been reported from Saudi Arabia (see link below). It is
not clear whether research has been done in Pakistan to look for this
or other bacterial pathogens in association with SDD.

Maps
Pakistan (with provinces):
<http://www.lib.utexas.edu/ maps/middle_east_and_asia/ pakistan_pol_2002.jpg>
Sindh districts:
<http://pakistan360degrees. com/wp-content/uploads/2010/ 01/Sindh-Map-Pakistan.jpg>

Pictures
Pakistan SDD symptoms:
<http://www.salu.edu.pk/sites/ default/files/pictures/date- infected.png>,
<http://www.salu.edu.pk/sites/ default/files/pictures/date- cured.png>
(recovery after fungicides) and photo gallery via
<https://www.researchgate.net/ publication/260225334_Date_ Palm_Wilt_Disease_Sudden_ Decline_Syndrome_in_Pakistan_ Symptoms_and_Remedy1>
Bayoud disease symptoms:
<http://datepalm-ksu.org/ files/image/diseases/Bayoud01. jpg>,
<http://2.bp.blogspot.com/- jAmrwrG6Prw/TwI_7EovM9I/ AAAAAAAABJ8/kKGPH4DeCO8/s1600/ Date+Palm+Death.jpg>
and
<http://www.fao.org/docrep/ 006/y4360e/y4360e2c.jpg>
Healthy date palms:
<http://girlsoloinarabia. typepad.com/photos/egypt/ datepalm_groves.jpg>
(grove) and
<http://upload.wikimedia.org/ wikipedia/commons/1/17/Dates_ on_date_palm.jpg>
(fruit stands)

Links
Sudden decline of date palm in Pakistan:
<http://www.academia.edu/ 7652553/FUNGI_ASSOCIATED_WITH_ SUDDEN_DECLINE_DISEASE_OF_ DATE_PALM_PHOENIX_DACTYLIFERA_ L._AND_ITS_INCIDENCE_AT_ KHAIRPUR_PAKISTAN>,
<https://www.researchgate.net/ publication/260225334_Date_ Palm_Wilt_Disease_Sudden_ Decline_Syndrome_in_Pakistan_ Symptoms_and_Remedy1>
(with pictures),
<http://www.salu.edu.pk/ content/plant-protection- division> (effect of
fungicides),
<https://www.pakbs.org/pjbot/ PDFs/45(S1)/02.pdf> and via
<http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_ docs/pnaea333.pdf>
Information on Bayoud and other date palm diseases:
<http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/ 006/Y4360E/y4360e0g.htm>,
<http://datepalm-ksu.org/ index.php?page_id=191>,
<http://www.pubhort.org/ datepalm/datepalm1/datepalm1_ 26.pdf> and
<http://www.iasj.net/iasj? func=fulltext&aId=49155>
Bacterial SDD in Saudi Arabia:
<https://apsjournals.apsnet. org/doi/10.1094/PDIS.2001.85. 1.24>
Fungal taxonomy via:
<http://www.indexfungorum.org/ names/names.asp>
List of major diseases and pathogens of date palm:
<http://www.apsnet.org/ publications/commonnames/ Pages/DatePalm.aspx>
Information on date palm cultivation and diseases:
<http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/ 006/Y4360E/Y4360E00.HTM> and
<http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ newcrop/morton/Date.html>
FAO global date palm network:
<http://www.fao.org/newsroom/ en/news/2004/48147/index.html>
 - Mod.DHA]

[See Also:
2016
----
Black scorch, date palm - United Arab Emirates
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20161020.4572025
Undiagnosed disease, coconut palm - India: (KL)
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20160727.4372442
Grey leaf spot, coconut palm - India: (TN)
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20160608.4272407
2014
----
Black scorch, date palm - Qatar: 1st report
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20141015.2868387
Sudden decline, date palm - Pakistan: (SD)
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20140723.2629399
Bud rot, coconut palm - India: (KL)
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20140410.2393856
2012
---
Undiagnosed diseases, date palm - Qatar
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20121213.1448829
2011
---
Red ring disease, coconut palm - Trinidad & Tobago: update
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20111103.3280
Al-Wijam Egypt (02): clarification
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20110601.1680
Al-Wijam disease, date palm - Egypt: 1st report
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20110519.1512
2010
---
Undiagnosed disease, date palm - Pakistan: (SD)
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20100503.1435
2009
---
Undiagnosed diseases, date palm - Pakistan: (SD)
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20090806.2776
2008
---
Brittle leaf, date palm - Libya: 1st rep.
http://promedmail..org/post/ 20080919.2934
Fungal alerts - Middle East http://promedmail.org/post/ 20080909.2817
Undiagnosed diseases, date palm - Pakistan
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20080730.2323
2007
---
Al-Wijam disease, date palm - Saudi Arabia: phytoplasma
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20070514.1536
2004
---
False smut disease, date palm - Qatar: 1st report
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20040821.2325
2003
---
Brittle leaf disease, dates - Tunisia (EPPO alert list)
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20030816.2044
2001
---
Erwinia chrysanthemi, date palm - Saudi Arabia
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20011209.2979
Fusarium, date palms - Saudi Arabia
http://promedmail.org/post/ 20010103.0013
and additional items on palm diseases in the archives]
............................... ...................sb/dha/msp/ lm
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Pakistan
Sudden_decline
Date_palm

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