First report on the molecular identification of the phytoplasma associated with a lethal yellowing-type disease of coconut palms in Côte d’Ivoire
Published: August 8th, 2013
Revised: July 21st, 2014
Cocos nucifera is considered the most important crop along the coastal belt of West Africa. Particularly in Côte d’Ivoire, coconut palm is cultivated on approximately 50,000 ha and produces an average of 45,000 tonnes of copra per year, which represents the main source of income for people living in the coastal region. Lethal yellowing (LY)-type diseases affecting coconut and other palm species worldwide have mostly been associated with phytoplasma strains of group 16SrIV ‘Coconut lethal yellows’. However, LY-type diseases like Cape St Paul wilt in Ghana (CSPW), the “maladie de Kaincopé” in Togo and Awka disease (Lethal Decline, LD) in Nigeria, previously included in 16SrIV group have been recently classified as a new group 16SrXXII. LY-type disease has quickly developed among coconut palms in the Grand-Lahou in Côte d’Ivoire, currently affecting more than 7000 hectares. We present the first report on the molecular identification of the phytoplasma associated with a lethal yellowing-type disease of coconut palms in Cote d’Ivoire.