Ganoderma infection of oil palm – a persistent problem in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

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Basal stem rot (BSR) disease caused by Ganoderma boninense Pat. is a major limiting factor to palm oil producing countries in South East Asia, which produce 90% of the world’s palm oil demand. BSR has been known for over 100 years and to date continues to be a disease of increasing economic importance. Once considered a disease of senescing palms, BSR has persisted through successive replants, infecting younger plantings and shortening the economic life span of each cropping cycle. Many approaches have been applied to control BSR of oil palm with varying levels of success. To date, there is still no single approach that has been demonstrated to be effective in BSR management. The long-term strategy would be to breed genotypes resistant or tolerant to BSR. However, this is dependent on a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding oil palm-Ganoderma interactions that can reveal the mechanisms involved with infectivity and pathogenicity of Ganoderma, and susceptibility, resistance or tolerance of oil palm. This review aims to highlight the knowledge gaps that need addressing to improve the control and management of BSR.

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This work was supported by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (#CIM-2012-086). EAG was supported by the John Allwright Fellowship. We thank Dr. Carmel Pilotti for critical appraisal of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to A. M. Mudge.

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Gorea, E.A., Godwin, I.D. & Mudge, A.M. Ganoderma infection of oil palm – a persistent problem in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Australasian Plant Pathol. 49, 69–77 (2020) doi:10.1007/s13313-019-00673-9

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  • Basal stem rot
  • Ganoderma boninense
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis)
  • White rot