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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Woodiness on Passion Fruit

Passion fruit Woodiness Virus (PWV)
Kenya

Recognize the problem

This is one of the most dangerous sicknesses of the purple passion fruit. It makes the passion fruit woody and hard, hence the name "woodiness".
The disease is visible on leaves as a light or dark green mosaic pattern often with light yellow discolouration.
Infected fruits appear small and shapeless with hardy peel and small juice area. Sometimes the disease makes the affected fruit crack.

Background

Woodiness disease is caused by a germ (virus) which is spread by planting material that is infected. This germ also affects many other crops and weed varieties and stays in them.
The germ is spread by insects known as aphids when they feed on the sick plants and move on to feed on the healthy plants. The germ is also spread if pruning is done by tools that are not made germ-free by a disinfectant.

Management

Non-chemical control
  • Ensure that you use sickness-free planting material from credible sources.
  • Use yellow passion fruit as rootstocks for purple passion fruit. Yellow passion is resistant to the sickness.
  • Uproot sick vines and destroy by burning.
  • Keep the field free of weeds.
  • During pruning, make the pruning tool germ-free every time you move to the next plant by dipping it into a disinfectant, e.g. bleach.
  • Do not plant melons, tomatoes or bananas on the same field with passion fruit. They could be the source of the germ.
Chemical control
  • Control aphids by use of Azadirachtin, Bifenthrin-Cyhalothrin or Pirimicarb among others.

When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Kenya

Authors: This factsheet is based on information written for "The Passion Fruit Farming Handbook", first published by KENGAP HORTICULTURE, 2011.
Kengap Horticulture Ltd, P.O Box 12898-00400 Nairobi, Kenya
tel: +254 722 575544; +254 723 491549 email: books@kengap.co.ke; www.kengap.co.ke
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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