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First report of Pseudocercospora angolensis causing leaf and fruit spot of Citrus in Sierra Leone

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Publication date
Type of Publication:
Articles & Journals
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses
Harling, R.; Reeder, R.; Boa, E.; Kelly, P.

In 2006, citrus fruit and leaves affected by dark brown lesions were noticed in orchards around Makeni in central Sierra Leone. The problem was considered widespread in the area by officers of the local station of the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security. In 2008, a similar problem, also widespread in the area, was seen around Kabala, Koinadugu District in Northern Province, in the northeast of the country and close to the border with Guinea. Symptoms seen on mature fruits of mandarins, the most common citrus type grown in Sierra Leone, were circular brown raised corky lesions (5-30 mm diameter) which were thickened and resinous, most with cracked centres. Affected mature mandarin fruits (cv. unknown) were sampled in April 2008 for diagnosis, from an orchard on Kamadugu Sokhura Road, Kabala. Isolations made from lesions on these fruits consistently revealed a fungus identified by morphological characteristics as Pseudocercospora angolensis. The fungus was until recently called Phaeoramularia angolensis, but assigned to the genus Pseudocercospora following molecular and morphological re-examination. P. angolensis is present in neighbouring Guinea to the north east. This is thought to be the first record of its occurrence in Sierra Leone. Not being present in the EPPO region it is therefore subject to quarantine restrictions.