Coconut nut malformation

CRACKING AND malformation is a serious infestation in coconut (Cocos nucifera) caused by eriophyid mite Aceria guererronis and the fungus Botryodiplodia theobromae.

The fungus causes brown lesions covering the entire nut surface, later turning into whitish grey colour having a shrivelled appearance.

In field experiments similar type of symptoms were recorded within two weeks on nuts inoculated with the fungus after insertion of eriophyid mite infested tissue.

In infected nuts the fungus entered into the kernel through the monocarp resulting in decay of the endosperm. In advanced stages all nuts were malformed and developed hardness.

Nuts inoculated with eriophyid mite alone recorded normal size with slight cracking symptoms.No premature falling mite infestation was recorded.

P. Lakshmanan, M. Arunprasad and R. Jagadeesan

Agricultural Research Institute Madurai-625104