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Letters to Nature
Nature 229, 500 - 501 (12 February 1971); doi:10.1038/229500b0

Possible Wind Transport of Coffee Leaf Rust across the Atlantic Ocean


Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, Hertfordshire

COFFEE leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix Berk. and Br.), for long widespread in Asia and Africa, can devastate crops of Coffea arabica. The fungus spread rapidly in West Africa between 1952 and 19621,2, but the New World seemed free from it until 1970 when it was found scattered over a wide area in Bahia, Brazil, where its consequences may be serious3,4. Indeed, in an attempt to protect the valuable crop farther south, a quarantine belt is being established 500 miles long and 30 miles wide from Rio de Janeiro to beyond Bello Horizonte in which all coffee trees are being destroyed.



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