Coffee rust outbreak in Central America

Coffee rust has broken out in Central America and Mexico.  This disease, caused by the fungus Hemileia vastatrix, generally does not kill coffee plants but devastates coffee crops by the defoliation it causes.  The latest outbreak may halve the harvest in the areas most severely affected in Costa Rica.

Coffee rust is generally contained through the use of fungicides and crossbreading of resistant coffee plants, but serious attention and time are not always given to this task. Both Colombia and Brazil are working to develop and maintain resistant coffee strains through crossbreeding, but new resistant varieties must continually be developed.

The CABI Distribution Map of Hemileia vastatrix is available to FAO staff through the CAB Abstracts database.  In Cab Abstracts, search for the name of the disease + "distribution map" in the title field. Click on the "CAB database pdfs" link in the box in the top right corner of the results page in order to access the map.

For more information on the current coffee rust outbreak, read the article published in Nature on January 30th.


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This blog is maintained by reference librarians of the David Lubin Memorial Library, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. Entries in this blog are for discussion purposes only. They express the views of their author(s) and not necessarily that of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The designations employed in this blog do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Links to other web sites are provided for the user's convenience and do not constitute endorsement of material at those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service.
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