Cocoa Viruses Webinar 2023

28th April 2023

14:00 GMT/UTC | 15:00 BST (UK) | 16:00 CET | 10:00 EST | 21:00 WIT

A webinar to share updates on progress, and plan/collaborate for the future.

The recent characterisation of mild strain viruses in cocoa, which are often not symptomatic, present a challenge in terms of curation of genebanks and quarantine measures. The first half of the webinar will provide an update on our knowledge of such viruses and on-going research into their detection and screening.

Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) continues to be a major threat to cocoa production in West Africa. The second half of the webinar will focus on detection techniques for CSSVD, which are critical to curtail further spread of this disease within the region.

Webinar Programme

  • Welcome Remarks – Martin Gilmour

Session 1
Mild Strain Viruses

  • History and status of badnaviruses in Trinidad and Tobago – Pathmanathan Umaharan Cocoa Research Centre, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Toward accurate, sensitive molecular detection of Cacao mild mosaic virus – Heshani De Silva Weligodage & Judie Brown University of Arizona, USA
  • Identification of Novel Badnaviral Sequences Integrated in the Genome of Cacao (Theobroma cacao): the implications for badnavirus virus detection in Cacao – Emmanuelle Muller CIRAD, France
  • Mild Viruses Infecting Cacao – Jim Dunwell & Ihsan Ullah University of Reading, UK
  • Q&A

Session 2
Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease

  • Improved CSSV Detection Through RCA Supported PCR Amplifications – George Ameyaw CRIG
  • Status of advance of research on the cocoa swollen shoot disease and on the virus detection technique at CNRA – Francoise Gogbe CNRA
  • Joining forces to tackle in-field detection of Cacao Swollen Shoot Disease – Jean-Philippe Marelli Mars-Wrigley
  • Development of Immunoassays to Detect Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus – Jackie Barnett & Joel Allainguillaume University of the West of England, UK
  • Q&A

This webinar was jointly hosted by the University of Reading, which maintains the International Cocoa Quarantine Centre (ICQC,R), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which co-funds the work of ICQC,R.