Anthracnose cracks Aussie pistachios -

Anthracnose cracks Aussie pistachios

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Anthracnose cracks Aussie pistachios

An outbreak of fungal anthracnose disease has led to a disastrous Australian pistachio season this year, triggering discussions about the fragility of monoculture farming, website reported.

Australia was expecting a 'bumper crop' this year but the disease, most commonly seen in mango plantations, meant harvests were cut in half, the story reported.

The first outbreak of the disease affecting pistachios in Australia was in 2001, striking again in December 2010 and January 2011 after torrential rains created perfect conditions for anthracnose to spread, Wired reported.

The story highlighted the country's pistachios come from just one cultivar that was developed in the 1980's, as they looked appealing for customers and had a good taste.

"Those are the varieties that are best for them. That’s why we have monocultures: They can’t plant something that isn’t profitable. But monocultures create these problems," University of California plant pathologist Themis Michailides told Wired.

The story pointed out Australia's pistachio growers could use fungicides to combat the disease, but eventually anthracnose could develop resistance.


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