Global Advanced Research Journal of Agricultural Science (GARJAS) ISSN: 2315-5094
December 2012 Vol. 1(10), pp 305-308
Copyright © 2012 Global Advanced Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Exploiting Microbial Diversity in Cocoa Ecosystems in Ghana to Control Phytophthora Pod Rot Disease

Andrews Y. Akrofi1,2*, Francine Govers2, Richard T. Awuah3 and Jos M. Raaijmakers2


Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, P.O. Box 8, Akim Tafo, Ghana.

2 Wageningen University, Laboratory of Phytopathology, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, 6708 PB, Wageningen, the Netherlands.

3 Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Private Mail Bag, University Post Office, Kumasi, Ghana.

*Corresponding Author’s: E-mail:;

Te: +233 244 715009; Fax: +233 277 900029

Accepted 10 December, 2012



Black pod disease, caused by different Phytophthora species, is a major yield-limiting factor in cocoa production. Currently, there is no acceptable genetic resistance to Phytophthora in cocoa varieties and pesticides used are not always effective, bring serious risks to human health and environment, and lead to resistance in pathogen populations. Recent studies in Ghana and the Netherlands on biological control of Phytophthora diseases have led to the isolation of several antagonistic bacteria that significantly limit the growth and proliferation of different Phytophthora species. Among the antagonistic bacteria, biosurfactant-producing Pseudomonas fluorescens isolates gave promising results in eliminating zoospore populations and controlling late blight disease of tomato caused byPhytophthora infestans. The objective of this study was to further develop these findings into effective control measures to manage black pod disease of cacao. This paper reports on the distribution and diversity of Pseudomonas and Phytophthora species associated with cocoa in Ghana and also describes preliminary results on the biocontrol activities of selected Pseudomonas strains against Phytophthora palmivora and Phytophthora megakarya.

Keywords: Micobial diversity, Phytophthora, biocontrol, cocoa ecosystem



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