Severe outbreak of lime witches’ broom in Iran: creation of a research network (IWBDLN)
In Iran, lime (Citrus aurantifolia) is an economically important fruit crop which is cultivated over a total area of approximately 41;800 ha. Lime trees are mainly grown in the Southern part of the country and 50% of the national production is located in the province of Hormozgan (covering an area of 19;100 ha). Lime witches’ broom (caused by ‘Candidatus ‘Phytoplasma aurantifoliae’ – EU Annexes) was first observed in 1997 in the province of Sistan ; Balouchestan. In 1998, it was found in the Hormozgan province, at first on a limited number of trees (51 trees) but in the absence of control measures the disease rapidly affected numerous orchards. In 2008, it was estimated that the disease has resulted in the death of more than 500 000 trees and that it continues to spread.
Because of the severity of the disease and of the immediate threat it represents to the lime growers, a network (IWBDLN: Iranian Witches’ Broom Disease of Lime Network) has been established under the supervision of the Iranian Ministry of Agriculture. This network was created to encourage researchers around the world to compile information about lime witches’ broom and assist in research programmes about disease management in Iran.
Dr Mohsen Mardi
Manager of Iranian Witches' Broom Disease of Lime Network (IWBDLN)
Mahdasht Road, Karaj, PO Box: 31535-1897, Iran
Tel: +98-261-2700845 - Fax: +98-261-2704539
Emails: email@example.com - firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal communication with Dr Mohsen Mardi, Genomics Department, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII – http://www.abrii.ac.ir), 2009-02.