Source: Citi News, Modern Ghana report [summ. Mod.DHA, edited]
As Ghana launches the 2nd International Coconut Festival, the country is said to have lost over 80% of its coconut resources from the Cape-Saint-Paul wilt. Officials said that the Western Region is the area most affected by the disease.
[Cape St Paul wilt (CSPW) disease is caused by a phytoplasma within the 16SrXXII-B taxonomic group. It is one of the palm lethal yellowing (LY) diseases caused by different phytoplasmas in different regions worldwide (see previous ProMED posts in the archives). The disease has been known in Ghana since the 1930s but was thought to be a localised problem. Since 1985, new disease foci have developed at an alarming rate in the Western and Central regions. CSPW has now been reported also in other countries in West Africa. A phytoplasma with 99% sequence homology to the CSPW phytoplasma has been identified in cassava (ProMED post 20170713.5168553) in Ivory Coast, constituting a widespread reservoir crop host for the pathogen.
Worldwide, very few coconut varieties have shown real tolerance to LY diseases; the level of susceptibility varies depending on disease pressure and locality. Recent observations of breakdown of resistance in some widely used hybrids are causing great concern for coconut replanting programmes worldwide. Reasons for the breakdown are still uncertain and may include genetic variation of the host, the pathogen, or the vector. In Ghana, replanting programmes for areas devastated by CSPW have been seriously hampered by replanted palms again being killed by CSPW. Resistance breeding programmes are continuing in the region.
CSPW affected areas, Ghana:
LY symptoms on coconut and other palms:
https://guyanachronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Lethal-Yellowing.jpg (leaf), and
Information and background on CSPW:
Lethal yellowing information:
CSPW (16SrXXII-B) phytoplasma taxonomy:
16SrXXII group taxonomy and species list:
LY (16SrIV) group, taxonomy, and species list:
Taxonomy of other phytoplasma subgroups, species, and strains via:
Phytoplasma resource centre: