Integrated Management of the Invasive Cocoa Pathogen Moniliophthora roreri

The basidiomycete Moniliophthora roreri causes the devastating frosty pod rot (FPR) of cocoa (Theobroma cacao), a disease that commonly reduces yields by over 80% within a few years of pathogen establishment.  The invasive pathogen originated in Western Colombia/Ecuador.  In recent years it has expanded its range in South America (Peru and Venezuela) and rampaged throughout Mesoamerica as far as Mexico.  Africa, Asia and insular Caribbean are still free of this pathogen.  Thus, the full management cascade recommended for invasive plant pathogens is applicable at certain locations: prevention; early detection and rapid response; and impact mitigation using various control approaches.  This paper presents key issues and prioritizes actions that need to be taken to manage this pathogen cost-effectively at the applicable intervention point(s):

(1)   Prevention

  • Public awareness and education
  • More efficient enforcement of existing regulations
  • Extreme alertness and regional cooperation in insular Caribbean, Eastern Venezuela, Guyanas, Brazil, and Bolivia
  • Strategic measures for intercontinental germplasm transfer, transport and trade

(2)   Early Detection and Rapid Response

  • Training of quarantine and survey personnel in early detection of latent infections
  • Anticipatory emergency plan, based on pathway risk analysis
  • Effective mechanism for prompt host elimination and compensation scheme

(3)   Impact Mitigation

  • Integrated approach, supplementing cultural control with chemical and biological agents
  • Design of disease-resilient agroforestry systems (both short term)
  • Classical biocontrol where introduced, e.g. with endophytes (medium term)
  • Genetic and induced resistance (long term)
  • Regular review of cost-effectiveness of measures, e.g. modelling for decision-making


Full Presentation>>>Frosty Pod Rot Krauss 46th CFCS