New coffee pest identified
University of Hawaii faculty have identified a new coffee pest. UH officials on Thursday said the disease symptoms have not been reported anywhere else in the world. The symptoms are circular yellow or yellow-green lesions, or spots, about one-quarter of an inch in diameter on the leaves and petioles. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it renders the coffee cherries unusable, though it is not yet known what the lesions look like on the cherries.
Pictures of affected leaves are available at sites.google.com/a/hawaii.edu/emaravirus-infects-coffee-in-Hawaii/.
In January, a farmer contacted Scot Nelson, via his plant diagnosis application, The Plant Doctor, to ask about the spots on his coffee leaves. Nelson had never seen the disease before, officials said. Another professor and an extension agent found several symptomatic plants in two locations at the farm, and they could also see some symptomatic plants across a fence at a neighboring coffee farm.
The second professor, Michael Melzer, analyzed the leaves and found a new species of virus similar to emaraviruses in the symptomatic coffee. There is no specific evidence that the virus causes this disease, though efforts are underway to investigate. To date, no emaraviruses have ever been reported to infect coffee. Emaraviruses are transmitted by eriophyid mites, which can be spread on wind currents as well as by the movement of infected plant material.
They are asking coffee farmers and community members to provide more information that might help identify the pest by checking coffee for symptoms and contacting Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org or via his Plant Doctor app, which can be downloaded and used for free by iPhone and Android users, or Andrea Kawabata at email@example.com. The HDOA has expressed interest in conducting a survey of farms in the area to determine the spread of the disease, but this will take time, so individuals are encouraged to report on their own crops as soon as possible.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.