Paarl, South Africa
Paarl, South Africa

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Petersen Y.,ARC Institute for Fruit | Mansvelt E.L.,ARC Institute for Fruit | Venter E.,Alternafruit SA Pty Ltd | Langenhoven W.E.,ARC Institute for Fruit
Australasian Plant Pathology | Year: 2010

In 2007, an outbreak of disease occurred in South African pomegranate orchards. The symptoms included leaf and fruit spots, and cankers on stems, branches and trunks. Based on biochemical and molecular analyses and pathogenicity tests, the bacterium Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. punicae was identified as the causal agent. This is the first report of bacterial blight on pomegranate in South Africa. © 2010 Australasian Plant Pathology Society.

Wohlfarter M.,Alternafruit SA Pty Ltd. | Venter E.,Alternafruit SA Pty Ltd.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2012

During a recent pests and disease survey on selected fig, Ficus carica (Moraceae), orchards in South Africa, internal infestation of fruit by thrips was observed. Packed fruit which were subject to quality control prior to export were destructively sampled and again thrips infestation was noted. The Western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis and the Onion thrips, Thrips tabaci, were found inside the fig cavity feeding on the flowers, causing the latter to discolor. Additional to life thrips found inside the fruit cavity, fungal growth was occasionally noted. Thrips specimen were collected and sent for positive species identification to the Biosystematics Division of the Agricultural Research Council - Plant Protection Research Institute (ARC-PPRI) in Pretoria, South Africa.

A number of unidentified but distinct Nanophyes spp. (Coleoptera: Apionidae) were found causing damage to pomegranate, Punica granatum (Lythraceae) shoots in South Africa. Pomegranates bear flowers on new growth, thus damage or loss thereof results in reduced flowering and subsequent lower crop load. Three orchards in geographic distinct locations in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, incurred heavy Nanophyes infestation pre-flowering, resulting in reduced flowering and lower fruit set. At location A the first flower flush was lost, yet post pyrethroid (Lambdacyhalothrin) application and subsequent weevil control, a second flush set and fruit matured. Location B sustained weevil damage beyond the typical flowering season and no significant 2nd flush was obtained even after pyrethroid application. At site C damage was so severe that trees dropped their leaves and all young buds where infected. Growth of the latter trees was severely stunted and even after a late pyrethroid application showed little recovery by budding low down on the main stem. Due to this infection no flowers developed and complete crop loss was thus sustained.

Wohlfarter M.,Alternafruit SA Pty Ltd. | Giliomee J.H.,Stellenbosch University | Venter E.,Alternafruit SA Pty Ltd.
African Entomology | Year: 2010

Little local information is available on pomegranate cultivation, especially on the pests affecting production and fruit quality. An extensive survey of the arthropods associated with commercial pomegranates, Punica granatum (Lythraceae), was therefore conducted over a period of 20 months from September 2006 to April 2008 in selected production orchards. Twelve orchards in nine districts of the Western Cape Province were inspected monthly and two spot surveys were done in the other major pomegranate-growing areas of the Northern Cape, North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces of South Africa. A total of 35 insects and one mite species of economic importance was recorded. Of these, the most serious pests were the false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick), which damaged the fruit, the long tailed mealybug, Pseudococcus longispinus (Targioni Tozzetti), and various thrips species that affected both leaves and fruit. Small weevils of undescribed species were found to cause stunted growth due to larval and adult feeding on young shoots.

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