COFFEE (bacterial leaf scorch of coffee)

Major symptoms: slight stunting, marginal or tip necrosis (scorch) of leaves, side branches devoid of leaves and fruit except for a tuft of leaves at the branch tip, die-back of leaves and twigs.

Distribution: Coffee leaf scorch is a disease found in Brazil in 1995 and reported as associated with Xylella fastidiosa in 1996 (See Beretta et al., 1996). This ‘newly described’ disease has probably occurred for many years in South America but had been thought to be caused by a variety of physical and biological factors. Similarities of symptoms on coffee to those caused by Xylella fastidiosa in other plants led to attempts to investigate a possible connection. The bacterium was proved to cause the disease in 1998 (See De Lima et al. 1998). Isolates of Xylella fastidiosa from coffee appear to be closely related to or identical to strains that cause citrus variegated chlorosis disease (CVC) (See Rosato et al. 1998;).

AHP – September 2000