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U. S. DEPARTMENT OF .(RICrI/ITRI,
BUREAU' )F I'LANT I N)USTRY- ('ircular No. 36.
B. T. (GALLOWAY, Chief of Blruiati,
THEI BU1D-RlOT (`OF TI I] UONTI
JOHN R. JOINSTO(N,
SCIENTIFIC ASSISTANT, LABORATORY OFP PLANT' PATHIOLOG(Y.
WASHINQTON : GOUVlNMCM PRINTIiNG OFFICE : 1194
BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY.
Chief of tIUMIuu, BIEVERiLY T. GALLOWAY.
.1Assistant (CI iff if 'lhi aul ALIERT F. WVOOIDS.
Editor, J. E. RoC KWEii'L.
Chikf ('lrk, JAM.IS lE. JONES.
B. I. 1.-IS7.
TIlE 1IDI)-ROT O) F TIlE C)OC)NIT 'ALM
PREVALENCE OF BUD-ROT IN TROPICAL AMERICA.
Notes in I- ..:,,'d to tihe bud-rot Of coconut lts have appeared iit
various pullications in retell[ years, but it, mY no)t Ib, e'en.rally
known that apparently thi, same disease destroy(, el i:1y iaY tcoon1it
VV ,-' inl tlie Provinces of Matanz:xs and : al lav:na, (unba, as eariv as
1S"";. A l r1_- report oil the disease was ipuldisheid at llavaia in ISSL2.
Its occurrence wxas reported in Baracoa, on tlhe e:vtern em1 of lie
island, in I ,, and according' to the natives it was present at least tell
years before that time. In I.3t; a -similar disease was re'1ortel Ifromi
Cayman Isltndsl. and iln Is-7i; from Britih (Giuiana. To-day what
apparently is one aitm the same disease, the budiI-rot, occurs in nearly
all the eoconutt-trowli,_.' reotions of Tropic:al America.
COMPARISON OF BUD-ROT WITH VARIOUS COCONUT DISEASES.
From time to time serious diseases of thlie coconut, palm have been
reported from different parts of the world antd have been variously
attributed to soil or atmospheric conditions, to insects, fii,'.:. etc.. aind
it is not at all iiprobalae that various environmelnts and ora:ii''nisis
may blr iwI about diseased 'onditions in the palmll. It is quite certain.
however, that in m1anv cases these dliseascs, supposedlYv distinct, aIre all
alike in that they exhibit a putl rid 'condition of thIe rowmnl, thoui-h this
condition l:l's been attributed to divers causes. It is now u'eeirally
admitted that thIe rot of tIe croxw n in the district of BItracsoa is caused
by bacteria. A published description of a ldieat:ie said to he of I'll IIO'O-S
in ii in i thle I lavana district corresp',l)onds exactly t to li'e Iaracoa disease.
On the island of Trinidad mainy of lthe trees said to he primarily dis-
eased by a so-called root rot have all tli' symphtoims of the bud-rot. It
can not lie stated positively that there is no
the coconutit troulmes of Tropictl Amierica is of thie Itype fmiuntd in
lBaracoa, Cuba. l'P'r-somal examination of trees in ('1ua, Jamaticat,
Trinidad, and British (iuiana lias oft'ered con"vi'il'- evidence of this.
The problenl of identitf'v,._' i' t disease is of i tcr'aisill" interest from
the fact that for some Years a serious disea-e of cocomiuit palm llIia-s
been reported from eaItern coutries. (O)f recent Years these reports
THE BUD-1:,'T OF THE COCONUITT PALM.
have described the disease as similar to that occurring in Cuba. Many
of the reports, however, have claimed that it is caused by fungi, and
have made no comparison with the Cuban form.
In Ceyvlon and in the Philippines the disease has been likened to the
bud-rot. In India thousands of coconut trees have been lost, but,
according to reports, owin g to fuir_'i'',, attacks. The description of
the disease, however, corresponds in every way to the bud-rot. De-
scriptions of the destruction of palms in German East Africa and in
Portu,, ii,-, East Africa also coincide with reports of similar ravages
of the )bud-rot.
DESIRABILITY OF A COMPARISON OF DISEASED MATERIAL
FROM THE EASTERN AND WESTERN TROPICS.
The (Cub)an 1)u(d-rot can not be easily mistaken. The falling' of
immnature nuts and the brIowvning of the central leaves and, finally,
the putrid condition of the center of the crown are I n too conspicu-
Ous and easily determined to be overlooked. The fact that ful gi or
insects or any organism whatever are present does not alter the
Is it not likely that this virulent and widely destructive disease of
coconut palns is common both to thle eastern and western Tropics?
It is 1much to be regretted that the in\' e-tigators of the disease in the
East have not been bacteriologists or at least have not for a time
looked at thle symptoms from that point of view. No comparison of
photographs of material from the East and the West has as yet been
made. It seems as though this were eminently desirable. A disease
that has certainly been known for at least half a century and has
steadily progressed, destroyinge: grove after grove of thriving trees,
not in one country only, but ini many, (demands more attention. It is
greatly to be desired that there may be some comparison of material.
It is still more important that the workers in different countries shall
not only look at the disease from the viewpoint of the entomologist
and mycologist but also from that of the bacteriologist.
NECESSITY FOR FURTHER KNOWLEDGE OF THE DISEASE.
As yet there is no satisfactory means ot' controlling this disease.
Should tlie so-called bud-rot be found to occur in Africa. India, and
thle Philippines, as well as in Tropical America, it will then put the
investigators on a more satisfactory basis for their work.
If tile disease is bacterial it may be that soil conditions or climatic
changes are important factors in its spread in a virulent form. If
these conditions be determnlined it may possibly be found that the only
solution of thle prob)lemi of identifying the disease is to obtain some
variety either better adapted to local conditions or perhaps actually
TiE 'vI)-RoT OF T( K I 't)('UNri' PALM
resistant to lictteriail attack,. Ii wouhI ho a I ,1 0" mtop toward this to
asm'i'tain delinitel'v x hat countries are free from ianid wlmt cuin tiic-, arc
:,l1l ,.tcd with rot of the crown of tihe pIlm. wlhattever inJa\ lve w lln>HLit
to he the cai so. If the itvo ,t iahstor., at (In, (ith e ldrc t stations wvill lWiar
this in nind it will Wid in sokvw,. the d or on(ntrollitii ,,one of
the uimt htl; lir,.' and destructive of tloipit l plant disati-ms.
Tihe wriler has in preparation :1 hill account of hi.w invcot~iiatimlWs of
the diea-, tlhroiih ,ut, the West Indies and A ill 1,e glad to rWciv"e for
comparismm iloto(graphs or alcoholic material.
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