Mango (Mangifera indica) is regarded as the king of fruits in India,
where it has been cultivated for at least 4,000 years and has great cultural and
religious significance. Many Indian mango cultivars originated in the fifteenth
century when the best selections of mango seedlings were propagated by grafting
and planted in large orchards, in some cases numbering 100,000 trees. With the
arrival of voyagers to India from Europe, mango was soon established throughout
the tropics and subtropics. Mango malformation disease (MMD) is one of the most
important and destructive diseases of this crop. It affects inflorescences and
vegetative portions of the plant. Although trees are not killed, the vegetative
phase of the disease impedes canopy development and the floral phase reduces
fruit yield dramatically; substantial economic losses can occur since malformed
inflorescences do not bear fruit. Significant advances have been made in
understanding the etiology of MMD, which is caused by more than one agent.
However, until recently little progress had been made on the epidemiology of
this disease. The results that are discussed in this article are only for MMD
caused by F. mangiferae.