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Identification of species of Ganoderma and Assessment of Basal Stem Rot Disease in Oil palm Plantations of the Cameroon Development Cooperation

Tonjock Rosemary Kinge: University of Florida

<div></p> <p>Oil palm is an important estate crop in Cameroon because it produces crude and kennel oil which has diverse uses in cooking and industrial applications. However, basal stem rot disease caused by different<em> Ganoderma</em> species seriously reduced yield in plantations. The objective was to identify the species, carryout a disease assessment and elucidate the effect of soil physiochemical properties on disease incidence and severity. The Incidence and severity of basal stem rot disease was studied in five plantations. Seasonal monitoring on 2 ha plots of different ages at these locations was done. Soil physiochemical analysis was carried out. Molecular identification was inferred using the ITS and mtSSU rDNA. The results showed that during the first year of observation disease incidence ranged from 3.9% in Bota to 23% in Mungo of 16 year old palms. By the second year of observation, the incidence had more than doubled in all the estates surveyed, ranging from 6.8 in Bota to as high as 55% in Mungo. Severity was also highest at Mungo and least at Bota. Although the first four principal components were strongly associated with soil properties and accounted for 100% variation in incidence and severity, disease incidence and severity only had a strong positive correlation with fine sand content and a strong negative correlation with C/N ratio. Seven species; <em>G. ryvardense</em>,<em> G. lobenense</em>, <em>G. tornatum</em>, <em>G. chalceum</em>, <em>G. steyaertanum, G. zonatum</em> and <em>Ganoderma</em> sp. 3. were associated with basal stem rot disease of oil palm. This study has established the serious epiphytotic potential of the basal stem rot disease of oil palm in Cameroon which is important in establishing appropriate control measures.</div>