IAEA JAM5014 (2020-2022) Project- Coffee in vitro propagation and induced mutation breeding for Coffee leaf rust disease resistance

Project Overview

Since September 2012, the Jamaican coffee industry has been grappling with the coffee leaf rust (CLR) epidemic caused by the fungal pathogen Hemileia vastatrix. The first widespread outbreak affected more than one third of coffee plants across the island, resulting in millions of dollars in lost revenues for the sector. The emergence and spread of the disease have been linked to a confluence of factors ranging from changing climatic conditions to impacts from extreme weather events, improper farm management practices, and institutional and market constraints that restrict control measures. The Scientific Research Council (SRC), Biotechnology Department has commenced work on a Technical Cooperation Project funded by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Plant Breeding and Diagnostic Technologies by using mutation induction technologies to solve these current problems. This project aims to improve local coffee plants by producing plants that are disease resistant.