0
points
Dry fronds in oil palm

Oil palm    Uyo, Nigeria

My oil palm plantation is just about 2 years old now, I suddenly observe recently that the fronds of the plants have started yellowing and drying from the older fronds to the younger fronds in a very quick and rapid succession till the whole plant eventually dries off and die. I'm losing many stands already, what could be the possible remedy, please?


Posted by: Ernest (1 point) Ernest
Posted: March 30, 2017


Dr. Ravishankar Narayana commented,
Please upload some images and also mention your location. Thanks
over 3 years ago.

Ernest commented,
Ok. My location is Uyo, Akwa Ibom, South-southern Nigeria. I sure would make the images available as soon as possible. Thanks for your interest in this concern.

over 3 years ago.

Ernest commented,
Hello, I'm now ready with pictures of the affected plants
over 3 years ago.

Dr. Ravishankar Narayana commented,
Go to the edit option in your question and upload images there.
over 3 years ago.

Ernest commented,
The pictures are now ready and put on the platform, waiting earnestly for your kind responses. Thank you.
over 3 years ago.



Answers

0
points
Ok. My location is Uyo, Akwa Ibom, South-southern Nigeria. I sure would make the images available as soon as possible. Thanks for your interest in this concern.


Posted by: Ernest (1 point) Ernest
Posted: March 31, 2017




0
points
Some observations
1) The surrounding vegetation is green and not drought stressed. So, I dont think your palms are water stressed
2) It seems to be a very quick decline? This would suggest a biotic factor like a nematode infection or other parasite affecting the roots, rather than a physiological stress
3) The leaves dont have any signs of damage from a pathogen, again suggesting a below ground problem

Questions
1) What does the dead/dying plant look like when you cut into the stem?

2) What do the roots look like?

3) Have you grown oil palm in this location before?

4) Is there any local diagnostic service near you? Somewhere there is a microscope?


Posted by: David Hughes (54 points) David Hughes
Posted: April 2, 2017


Barbara J. Ritchie commented,
Dear Ernest and David, Yes, the root system is the first place I would look for disease organisms and in West Africa my first thoughts are oil palm wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. elaeidis. I have pasted info on symptoms from the CABI Crop Protection Compendium plus one image of the a seedling base showing internal discolouration. The pathogen can attack oil palm at all ages from seedling to mature palm, and Prendergast suggested that in mature palms the disease can exist in two forms. In the chronic form, the older leaves become desiccated, the rachis breaks near or at some distance from the base and hangs down around the trunk. The disease progresses gradually, with younger leaves becoming successively affected whilst the erect young leaves in the crown are much reduced in size and may become chlorotic; the apex of the trunk may also reduce in diameter. Palms can exist in this condition for several years. Alternatively, a palm may display the acute form of the disease, in which leaves dry out and die rapidly while retaining their original erect positions on the plant until broken off, usually several feet from the base, by wind action. The disease progresses rapidly and palms die within 2 or 3 months. Various intermediate stages between the acute and chronic forms may occur. A third category of temporary wilt where palms develop leaf symptoms but later recover. On immature palms, leaves in the middle of the crown become yellow or brown; this first spreads to lower neighbouring leaves but eventually the palm will totally desiccate and die. At the nursery stage, infected palms show progressive shortening of younger leaves and desiccation and death of older leaves. These symptoms are thought to result from a combination of water stress (caused by xylem vessel blockage) and changes to plant gibberellin levels or activity. Internally this disease is characterized by discoloration and blockage of xylem vessels with tyloses and gums. Vascular discoloration (from healthy cream to infected dark brown) is always observed in palm stems, and in severely infected plants it can spread systemically to the petioles. However, even in highly diseased field palms most roots show no signs of infection. Has oil palm been grown on the site before and if so were there any problems? Oil palm may have been grown 7-8 decades ago and abandoned and now the area has been reused but there is not ‘corporate memory’ of the palms ever being grown there. Once the oil palm wilt fungus chlamydospores are in the soil then they are there forever. Some clones do better at resisting the disease that others. The Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research has experimental stations and sub stations (http://nifor.gov.ng/) log on to the website for further info as one of these may be near to the infected site and it might be easy to contact them.
over 3 years ago.

Ernest commented,
Let me begin by thanking all that showed concern to this great worry of mine. Barbara Ritchie has been a great resource. Thanks for the wonderful literature and pathological exposure. David Hughies, thanks, let me attempt to answer your questions as follows: 1. I didn't think of cutting into the stem, but I dug into the roots (question 2)and my observation was that the roots turned brownish, and the region was wet and exuded some offensive odor, that smelled something like a decaying tissue of a plant. 3. Old grooves were actually felled from this site before a new plantation was established. 4. Local diagnostic service providers are not very common around here. Thanks a million. Ernest
over 3 years ago.

David Hughes commented,
I wrote to the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research so we will see what they say. Please cut into he stem of one plant and send a new picture. If it is true that you have a Fusarium species that attacks palms you will have to stop growing palms
over 3 years ago.



0
points
Dear Ernest and David,
Yes, the root system is the first place I would look for disease organisms and in West Africa my first thoughts are oil palm wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. elaeidis.

I have pasted info on symptoms from the CABI Crop Protection Compendium plus one image of the a seedling base showing internal discolouration.

"The pathogen can attack oil palm at all ages from seedling to mature palm, and Prendergast suggested that in mature palms the disease can exist in two forms. In the chronic form, the older leaves become desiccated, the rachis breaks near or at some distance from the base and hangs down around the trunk. The disease progresses gradually, with younger leaves becoming successively affected whilst the erect young leaves in the crown are much reduced in size and may become chlorotic; the apex of the trunk may also reduce in diameter. Palms can exist in this condition for several years.

Alternatively, a palm may display the acute form of the disease, in which leaves dry out and die rapidly while retaining their original erect positions on the plant until broken off, usually several feet from the base, by wind action. The disease progresses rapidly and palms die within 2 or 3 months.

Various intermediate stages between the acute and chronic forms may occur. A third category of temporary wilt where palms develop leaf symptoms but later recover. On immature palms, leaves in the middle of the crown become yellow or brown; this first spreads to lower neighbouring leaves but eventually the palm will totally desiccate and die. At the nursery stage, infected palms show progressive shortening of younger leaves and desiccation and death of older leaves. These symptoms are thought to result from a combination of water stress (caused by xylem vessel blockage) and changes to plant gibberellin levels or activity.

Internally this disease is characterized by discoloration and blockage of xylem vessels with tyloses and gums. Vascular discoloration (from healthy cream to infected dark brown) is always observed in palm stems, and in severely infected plants it can spread systemically to the petioles. However, even in highly diseased field palms most roots show no signs of infection."
CABI Crop Protection Compendium


Has oil palm been grown on the site before and if so were there any problems? Oil palm may have been grown 7-8 decades ago and abandoned and now the area has been reused but there is not ‘corporate memory’ of the palms ever being grown there. Once the oil palm wilt fungus chlamydospores are in the soil then they are there forever. Some clones do better at resisting the disease that others.

The Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research has experimental stations and sub stations (http://nifor.gov.ng/) log on to the website for further info as one of these may be near to the infected site and it might be easy to contact them.



Posted by: Barbara J. Ritchie (5 points) Barbara J. Ritchie
Posted: April 3, 2017


David Hughes commented,
Babs, I added the image
over 3 years ago.



0
points
I think Barbara Ritchie sums it up well. Look for the discoloration in the base of the stem that she illustrates. If you see that, then you likely have Fusarium oxysporum fsp elaeidis. This is a soil borne disease and if this is the cause, it will be virtually impossible to get rid of the fungus. You will not be able to grow oil palms in this site any more.

More information from CABI's Plantwise site:

http://www.plantwise.org/KnowledgeBan...


Posted by: David Geiser (1 point) David Geiser
Posted: April 4, 2017




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