COCONUT PALM DISEASES CAUSED BY FUNGI, BACTERIA, PHYTOPLASMA AND VIRUS – AN ULTIMATUM TO PALMS OF GLOBAL ECONOMY
Coconut is a predominant crop cultivated in more than 93 countries in the world, especially in tropical regions. Among the major coconut cultivation states in India such as Kerala, Karnataka, Odisha, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Assam and Andra Pradesh, Kerala has the longest history of cultivation. However, it is affected by various kinds of diseases such as lethal yellowing, red-ring, bud rot, ganodarma, stem bleeding, leaf rot, leaf blight, root wilt and cadang-cadang diseases leading significant losses in production. Major coconut products in the market includes Kernal Based, Water based, Coconut shell based, inflorescence based and convenience based items. It consists of virgin coconut oil, neera, coconut milk, desiccated coconut powder, activated carbon, shell powder, ball copra, tender coconut water, coconut vinegar, coconut wood, shell charcoal and coconut handicrafts. This paper reviews the common fungi, bacteria, phytoplasma and virus diseases found in coconut and their symptoms. The review concludes that proper management strategies should be taken for reducing the impact of diseases on coconut and thereby maintaining the productivity.