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Systematic roguing of infected plants: innovative technology for sustainable regional management of passion fruit woodiness disease


Passionflower is cultivated throughout the Brazilian territory, and the predominant disease in almost all producing regions is called passionfruit woodiness, caused by the potyvirus Cowpea Aphid-Borne Mosaic Virus (CABMV). Its occurrence reduces the lifespan of the plants of 36 months to approximately 18 months. The spread of the virus in the field occurs mainly by aphids, being the virus-vector relationshipof the type non-persistent. Controlling passionfruit woodiness is difficult, especially as commercially exploited Passiflora species are not virus resistant or disease tolerant. In addition, chemical control of the vectors is not efficient. The management alternatives available today are generally insufficient and only partially reduce the damage caused by CABMV in passionflower orchards. Given this scenario, this work proposes the implementation of small-scale passion fruit pilot plantations in Piracicaba, SP, to validate the strategy of systematic roguing through weekly inspections, as an efficient, sustainable and economically viable way for disease management in the field. In two plantings, the passion fruit plants will be individualized in the trellis and all infected plants will be immediately eradicated and replaced by healthy seedlings. The third planting, conducted without individualization and eradication of diseased plants will be the control. The quantitative and qualitative production will be evaluated and compared. At the end of the second year, it is intended to hold a field day to disseminate the results to passion fruit growers. The ultimate goal of this project is to contribute to the improvement of the passion fruit production system, which involves small and medium producers, through the proper management of passionfruit woodiness. It is expected to increase the longevity of the crops with consequent quantitative and qualitative gains in passion fruit production. (AU)

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