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Basal Stem Rot of Oil Palm: The Pathogen, Disease Incidence, and Control Methods.

Authors
  • Zakaria, Latiffah1
  • 1 School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. , (Malaysia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Plant Disease
Publisher
Scientific Societies
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2023
Volume
107
Issue
3
Pages
603–615
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1094/PDIS-02-22-0358-FE
PMID: 35819350
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Basal stem rot of oil palm caused by Ganoderma boninense is the most serious disease of oil palm in Malaysia, Indonesia, and other oil-palm-producing countries. Economic losses caused by the disease can be up to USD500 million a year. For many years, basal stem rot was found to infect older palm trees of more than 25 to 30 years in age. Only in the 1950s, the disease began to appear in much younger palm trees, 10 to 15 years old, and, in the last decade or so, palm trees as young as 1 year were infected by the disease. The highest incidence occurs in coastal areas of Southeast Asia but the disease has now infected oil palm in inland areas, mainly oil palm planted in peat soils. Disease incidence is also high in areas previously growing coconut or forest. Basal stem rot infection and spread occur through root-to-root contact, and basidiospores that colonize the roots also play a role. In the early stages of infection by G. boninense, the pathogen behaves as a biotroph and later as a necrotroph, secreting cell-wall-degrading enzymes and triggering host defense responses. Genes, gene products, and metabolic pathways involved in oil palm defense mechanisms against G. boninense have been identified and these metabolites have the potential to be used as markers for early detection of the disease. Integrated disease management used to control basal stem rot includes cultural practices, chemical control, and application of biocontrol agents or fertilizers. Early detection tools have also been developed that could assist in management of basal stem rot infections. Development of resistant or tolerant oil palm is still at an early stage; therefore, the existing integrated disease management practices remain the most appropriate methods for managing basal stem rot of oil palm.

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