Liplants That Contain Essential Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria In Their Root Systems Coffee Cultivation: Pests, Diseases and Chemical Disinfection

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Coffee Cultivation: Pests, Diseases and Chemical Disinfection

Coffee is the popular beverage name for a species of plant in the genus Coffea cultivated for its beans that are used to prepare interesting beverages. They are evergreen shrubs with multiple stems and smooth leaves; bears green fruit that turns red when ripe and usually contains two coffee beans or beans. Trees can live for 20-30 years. Coffee primarily comes in two varieties, Arabica coffee (C.arabica) and Robusta coffee (C.cenephora) and originates from Africa. They grow in a wide range of soils, but generally prefer deep, well-drained loam with a pH between 5 and 6.

Among coffee producing countries, India is the 6th largest producer and exporter of coffee in the world after Brazil, Vietnam, Columbia, Indonesia and Ethiopia with the state of Karnataka accounting for 71% of production followed by Kerala at 21% and Tamil Nadu at 5 %. with an annual production of 8,200 tons. Both Arabica and Robusta are produced in the proportion of 32:68. Indian coffee is unique because it is grown under the shade tree canopy (a popular Agroforestry practice) making it one of the most eco-friendly crops in India which helps preserve the bio-diversity of the ecologically sensitive Eastern and Western Ghats.

Coffee production in India increased steadily from 1951 to 2002 after which there was a sharp decline for almost a decade due to the drop in world market and coffee prices, drought incidents and epidemics of pests and diseases. Peak production was achieved in 2011-2012 due to responsive measures to mitigate the above-mentioned problems. While the problem with prices and the world market has been left to the economists, the two remaining areas require mitigation at home.

The proposed measures include:

· Development of drought and pest/disease tolerant species

· Development of irrigation technology and water retention

· Development of pest and disease management methods.

The Central Coffee Research Institute is actively trying to develop new resistant crop breeds but has a long way to go and long-term programs for high-yielding crops and disease-resistant strains are now a matter of uncertain future. Emphasis is placed on current practices to maintain production while creating minimal impact on soil, plant and environmental health and the need for integrated pest and disease management with eco-friendly biocidal disinfectants.

Common pests and diseases that occur in coffee cultivation are listed here:

1) Bacterial Blight: Caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas syringae, the disease can spread over long distances through infected plants or through splash water in the garden. Symptoms include leaf spots leading to necrosis on the laminae and shoot tips that spread down the branches leading to dead leaves on the branches. The only mitigation is the use of protective pesticide sprays.

2) Cercospora leaf spot: Caused by the fungus Cercospora coffeicola, it is spread by wind, water splash and human movement in wet fields. Symptoms include brown spots on foliage and red leaf margins, premature leaf drop and discolored discolored infected berries. Use pesticides in case of disease.

3) Coffee Berry Disease: Caused by the fungus Colletotrichum kahawae, a very serious disease that spreads through the plantation by air/water/physical contact media and can destroy 80% of the crop. Symptoms include lesions on green berries, premature pruning and mummified berries. Protective pesticide sprays and removal of infected berries are the only remedies.

4) Coffee leaf rust: Caused by the fungus Hemileia vastatrix, it is spread by air and water. Symptoms include lesions on the ventral side of the leaves, infection starts near the bottom of the plant and infected leaves drop prematurely leaving twigs and branches defoliated. Fungicide spraying and total removal of infected plants seem to be the only remedies.

5) Root Nematodes: Nematodes are worm-like organisms that attack the root system of plants, feeding on the sap. They can form knots in the roots that prevent the plant from feeding properly. Meloidogyne exigua, M. incognita, M. coffeicola, Pratylenchus brachyurus, and P. coffeae are the most common species of coffee rootknot nematodes. Symptoms of a nematode infection are galls, splitting, scaling and reduced mass of the root system, and chlorosis and defoliation of the upper plant. They are among the most dangerous coffee diseases and pests. Pesticide application seems to be the only preventive option.

Pesticides and Fungicides:

Copper and its compounds have a wide role in agriculture. It is used as an active ingredient in various pesticide and fungicide formulations to protect crops against leaf blight and fruit diseases. About 6% of the world’s copper production is used in agriculture, which directly affects the environment and represents the most important source of copper dissipation directly into the soil and the environment. It was not until the 1880s that the fungicidal properties of copper were discovered by the French scientist, Millardet, and from 1885 the Bordeaux mixture based on Cu officially became the first fungicide used on a large scale worldwide. Copper-based fungicides are inorganic compounds with a multi-site activity and low risk of pathogens developing resistance at any stage; hence popular use as agricultural pesticides to control fungi, bacteria, and in some cases invertebrates and algae. After the absorption of the pathogen, the metal ions connect with various chemical groups present in many proteins and disrupt protein functions. Thus the mode of operation is the non-specific denaturation of cellular proteins. Copper hydroxide fungicides and copper sulfate fungicides are the most common copper salts used as plant fungicides.

It is applied in two possible ways:

a) Contact fungicides: These are applied but not absorbed by the plant. They act on surfaces and prevent infection and germination of the pathogen’s infectious propagules. They are sprayed in advance and produce a toxic barrier against pathogenic infections. The biggest limitation is the need to apply at regular intervals to prevent new growth.

b) Systemic fungicides: These are absorbed by the foliage and roots and transported around the plant in vascular tissue. So lower doses and less frequent applications are required. They are applied after the infection has occurred to treat the symptoms and eliminate the disease mainly during seed treatment or by root soaking, furrow treatment or soil soaking. They are site specific and inhibit particular metabolic functions. They are expensive; sometimes induces defoliation of the plant and often pathogens become resistant through simple cellular mutations.

Although it is an effective biocide, copper is still a heavy metal and many years of accumulation in soil and water has its environmental consequences. Heavy metals tend to accumulate and persist in agricultural soils for a long time. A study conducted by Savithri et al. (2003) in India confirmed the significant accumulation of copper in surface and subsoil due to extensive use in Bordeaux. Horticultural operations and the long history of copper fungicides were the main culprits. It is well assumed, heavy metals present in the soil can have negative impact on human health and the environment.

i) Copper accumulation in soil above threshold values ​​may be responsible for phytotoxicity in higher plant species and associated soil properties. The phenomenon is mainly observed in acid soils with pH < 6; just kind of ground coffee plant instead. This can disrupt the overall productivity of present Agroforestry farms in India

ii) Copper biocides have a negative effect on soil pH, available phosphorus and organic matter. When in soil, it binds to organic matter, clay minerals and hydrated metal oxides making them unavailable to plants. It was found to suppress nitrogen fixation by Rhizobium.

iii) Earthworms are known as farmers’ friends. Foraging and digging activities help control soil organic matter and maintain soil porosity. Copper residues negatively affect soil microbial activity and earthworm populations and processes such as bioturbation. Thus reducing the health of the soil.

iv) They affect the working cycle and life of natural bio-pesticides and bio-control, reducing the effectiveness of mycorrhizal inoculation.

v) Regardless of the precision of application, copper fungicide sprays have the potential for drift risk and metal contamination in adjacent fields that damage non-target crops and plants, especially in Agroforestry practices.

vi) Runoff from farms containing dissolved copper and copper sulfate toxicity is fatal to aquatic fauna.

vii) Long-term exposure to copper can cause irritation of the nose, mouth and eyes, headache and vomiting; Accidental ingestion of contaminated food can cause copper poisoning and liver and kidney damage in humans.

Silver hydrogen peroxide: An ecologically friendly agricultural biocide

Silver hydrogen peroxide, as the name suggests is a synergized composition of hydrogen peroxide stabilized with silver ions in the form of silver nitrate or infused Silver Nano particles. Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidant formed by the combination of water and ozone. The bond between the molecule and the oxygen atom is unstable and easily broken releasing free oxygen that oxidizes organic matter. Thus, H2O2 disinfects by oxidizing cell membranes and internal cell structures of pathogens. It is a great biocide; They were a strong oxidizing agent.

H2O2 is stabilized using silver to increase its effectiveness. Silver acts both as a stabilizer and an activator. In addition, the agent is shown to have certain disinfectant properties of its own. Adding silver greatly reduces the rapid decomposition of H2O2. In the presence of silver, the peroxide decomposes only in the presence of biological contaminants. The decomposed H2O2 oxidizes the cell wall, cell membrane and cytoplasm of the pathogens, destroying the DNA thus killing the organism. Agents are known to interact with certain proteins in the DNA and act as a biostat, preventing further growth of pathogens.

Hydrogen peroxide and silver are neither toxic nor produce DPB upon decomposition. It dissociates the product of water and oxygen and residual agents have been proven to have no harmful effects on people and the environment. Breaking down in water and oxygen, it is the safest biocide and ecological disinfectant in the world. In the recommended concentration of application, it is harmless to the plant and soil biota except pathogens.

The most impressive feature of silver hydrogen peroxide is its various modes of application:

A well diluted solution of the biocide can be spouted or fumigated on wet soil 12 hours before planting of fresh plants. This kills most disease-causing organisms.

A diluted biocide solution can be directly fed to plant roots by drip lines in marked growth periods to prevent re-growth of infectious pathogens.

The soil can be drenched directly with a diluted solution in the early growing season to eliminate most pathogens that infect the early growth stage.

Spraying leaves early in the morning at periodic intervals can keep the leaves free from rust and fungal infections that often occur.

Cutting tools can be sterilized in a diluted solution before surgery to minimize contact infection.

Fresh seeds can be soaked in a dilute solution before planting to prevent pathogen infection during the germination stage.

Mature beans can be washed in a diluted biocide solution to remove organic and inorganic residues to increase shelf life and processing operations.

Silver hydrogen peroxide is by far the best biocide for many utilities because:

· It is effective against all types of bacteria, viruses, yeasts, molds, nematodes and spore forms.

· It is environmentally friendly – practically 100% degradable breaks down in water and oxygen

· Does not create odor or change the taste of beans

· Very effective over time even at very high water temperatures and low pH

· No toxic effects in its diluted state

· No carcinogenic or mutagenic effects

· Long shelf life: maximum loss of concentration 3% per year

· Do not harm other parts of the plant

· Equipment and operation costs are low, they can be easily implemented without fear of environmental residues

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