PREDISPOSING FIELD FACTORS TO CARICA PAPAYA L FRUIT ROTS
Published: 10 Jun 2015
Abstract: Carica papaya L is famous for its latex and succulent vitamin rich fruit. However, the plant has little commercial value compared with citrus and mango possibly as a result of its many associated diseases. In this experiential study we determined field factors associated with C. papaya fruit rots. A three and half year observational study in a model research and demonstration farm revealed the following as significant to papaya fruit rot; plants >2 years were more susceptible to diseases, infection particularly fungal was predominant in late dry season (February to March) which also coincided with the tailing period of harvest. Insects mostly beetles, mulluscs (snails and slugs) and millipedes were prevalent pests in wet months and served as vectors for spread of disease or inflicted mechanical damage on the plant parts especially on fruits. Vegetation management had significant impact on the spread of diseases as it determined the prevalence of pests and disease-associated weeds. Powdery mildew and apical necrosis were typical of dry months (November to March), anthracnose occurs more often with onset of rain accompanied with wind while other disease conditions were prevalent in the wet months (August to October). Infected stems and leaves constituted the reservoirs of spoilage organisms.
Keywords: carica papaya, fruit rots, predisposing field factors, weather, plants age
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