DWARF DISORDER IN TISSUE CULTURED DATE PALMS - A CASE STUDY
Tissue culture derived date palms (Phoenix dactylifera L.) are susceptible to many physiological disorders in the field. During the field evaluation of tissue culture derived date palms, the authors noticed sudden dwarfing symptoms in a few date palms belonging to the cultivars Succari, Sultana and Anbara at the flowering stage. The unnoticed affected palms produced little malformed fronds and face death at the end. In order to study the real cause for this dwarf disorder, a case study was carried out in our laboratory. One of the date palm cultivars, Succary, affected by this disorder was isolated and removed from the field for morphological and anatomical studies. While dissecting out the older leaves from the base towards the shoot tip many holes and furrows on the fronts were noticed. In few fronds the furrows deepen to the shoot meristematic region. Several insect larvae were also noticed in between the young fronds which were later identified as the larvae of the grater date moth Arenipses sabella. Some of the infected palms partially dissected out and treated with Benlate fungicide and Malathion insecticide in the field recovered from the disorder and produced normal fruits. Our study concluded that this dwarf disorder was caused by the greater date moth (Arenipses sabella) larvae followed by secondary fungal infection on the wound and this disorder occurs not only in tissue culture derived date palms, but also in seedling and offshoot derived date palms in Kuwait. This study also confirmed that the sudden dwarfing disorder occurred on the field grown tissue culture derived date palms are not due to genetic disorder but due to physiological reasons which could be controlled by treating the affected palm at the right time.
Al-Shayji, Y. and Sudhersan, C. (2010). DWARF DISORDER IN TISSUE CULTURED DATE PALMS - A CASE STUDY. Acta Hortic. 882, 875-882
Phoenix dactylifera, micropropagation, Arenipses sabella, insecticide