Dr. P. N. Rajarajan*, Dr. P. Jeganathan, K.Rajeswari, N.Sumathy and A. Uma Devi


Citrus is considered as one of the most important tropical fruit crop in India. It plays a vital role in the fruit economy of the country next to mango. Citrus cultivation in India is facing plethora of production constraints viz., non availability of disease free planting material, bud wood transmissible diseases, general neglect, scarcity of water and poor management practices, cultivation in unsuitable soils. Beside this, Citrus spp. are prone to attack by more than 150 diseases and disorders caused by fungal, viral and few bacterial pathogens right from nursery level to bearing stage resulting in considerable yield losses. Citrus canker is a serious bacterial disease of commercial varieties of citrus, and relatives, caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri. It is a serious menace to our most valued citrus orchards causing objectionable blemishes on the fruit. The disease causes serious damage in India, China, Japan and Java. At least 3 distinct forms or types of citrus canker are recognized. Among these, Asiatic form (Canker A) is the most destructive and affects most of the major citrus cultivars. Severe infection of the disease produces a variety of effects including defoliation, dieback, severely blemished fruit, reduced fruit quality and premature fruit drop. Warm, humid, cloudy climate, along with heavy rainfall and strong wind promotes the disease. Citrus canker has resulted in heavy economic losses to citrus industries across the globe, due to damage to trees, reduced fruit production and access to export markets and increased cost of management.

Keywords: Citrus canker, Xanthomonas citri, symptoms, pathogenicity.

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