The objectives of the project are to control the spread of lethal Yellowing-type diseases in Africa and determine the relationship between diseases in Africa and the Caribbean region. There are two components: 1. Laboratory-based research on development of detection and diagnostic techniques and comparison of mycoplasmalike organisms (MLO) from different regions. Nucleic acid based diagnostic techniques (DNA probes and RAPD analysis) will be developed by the European partners for field use bY African partners. The proposed work Will take advantage of DNA probes and amplification techniques specific for LY MLO that have recently been developed at the University of Florida, USA, who have agreed to collaborate in this work but are not formal partners in this proposal. 2. An African Network of field-based research on the etiology and control of LY. This will concentrate on etiological studies to determine relationships between diseases in different regions and monitor their distribution, and on applied control strategies including resistance screening trials, initiation of breeding-progeny selection, vector identification, training of scientific workers and farmer extension.
The two components will interact in the following ways:
- The MLO etiology of unknown diseases of coconut in Africa will be confirmed (eg Awka wilt, Nigeria, and lethal disease, Mozambique). - The possibility that different strains of the pathogen exist in East and West Africa and the Caribbean will be tested. Tests will be developed to predict the susceptibility of coconut varieties in different regions. - Tests will help identify MLO in insect vectors and alternative host plants. This will facilitate study of disease epidemioloav and ecoloav. - European labs will provide on-the-job training and technolonv transfer
in modern diagnostic techniques. There will be a focus for collaboration between African and Caribbean research groups. Training and support for local extension services will ensure that new'knowledge about the disease and techniques for managing it will become available to farmers. -----se
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
AL5 2JQ Harpenden, Herts