Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Çukurova, Turkey

2 Faculty of Agronomy, University of Parakou, Benin Republic

3 UFR Biosciences, Félix Houphouët Boigny University, Republic of Ivory-Coast


Purpose: In sub-Sahara Africa, citrus is mainly cultivated in the coastal countries. It plays important nutritional and socio-economical roles by providing vitamins and minerals to consumers and cash to farmers. The crop is being challenged by many constraints. The purpose of this review is to inventory the virus and virus-like diseases known to infect citrus in the West-Africa up today. Findings: Less attention is given to citrus in West African countries while the crop is imperiled by biotics as well as abiotic constraints. Then, it is threatened by several diseases. Among them, the updated reported virus and virus-like diseases are tristeza, exocortis, citrus psorosis complex, cachexia, stubborn and greening. There is no recent update regarding the incidence, severity, and distribution of those diseases as well as their impact on yield. The biological or molecular characterization of the diseases' causal agents also still lack. Research limitations: There is no effective national or regional plant protection policy; leading to the persistence of citrus diseases and wide-spreading infections. Climate change is enhancing the dilemma. Directions for future research: The sustainable production of citrus in the region requires new plant protection policies and investigations regarding citrus diseases and their vectors. Furthermore, rootstocks screening is required in every single agro-ecological zones where citrus is grown for the simultaneous management of citrus viroids, viruses, and soil-born fungi.


Main Subjects

Adedapo, O. A., Atiri, G. I., & Kumar, P. L. (2015). Incidence, distribution and first identification of citrus Tristeza virus by RT-PCR in citrus orchards in South-Western Nigeria. Acta Horticulturae, 1065, 759-766.

Barbosa, C. J., Pina, J. A., Bernad, L., Serra, P., Navarro, L., & Duran-Vila, N. (2005). Mechanical transmission of citrus viroids. Plant Disease, 89(7), 749-754.

Bar-Joseph, M., & Dawson, W. O. (2008). Encyclopedia of virology.Volume 1. Oxford, Elsevier.

Bar-Joseph, M., Marcus, R., & Lee, R. F. (1989). The continuouschallenge of citrus tristeza virus control. Annual Review of Phytopathology, 27(1),291-316. 

Barzegar, A., Sohi, H. H., & Rahimian, H. (2005). Comparative sequence analysis of coat protein gene of Iranian citrus tristeza virusisolates. Journal of Phytopathology, 153(7-8), 457-463. 

Batool, A., Iftikhar, Y., Mughal, S. M., Khan1, M. M., Jaskani, M. J., Abbas, M., & Khan, I. A. (2007). Citrus greening disease – A major cause of citrus decline in the world – A Review. Horticultural Science, 34(4), 159–166.

Bove, J. M. (2006). Huanglongbing: A destructive, newly-emerging, century-old disease of citrus. Journal of Plant Pathology, 88 (1), 7-37.

Bove, J. M., Renaudin, J., Foissac, X., Gaurivaud, P., Carle, P., Laigret, F., Saillard, C., & Garnier, M.  (2002). Spiroplasma citri: From functional genomics to . . . genomics. International Organization of Citrus Virologists Conference Proceedings (1957-2010), 15(15), 278-287.

Brun, J. (1971). Report of missions carried out in Cameroon from February, 24 to March, 11 1971 and in Dahomey from March, 11 to March, 15 1971. GERDAT-IFAC. Retrived from (In French).

CABI. (2019). Aphis gossypii (cotton aphid) datasheet. Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI). Retrieved from

Calavan, E. C., & Bove, J. M. (1989). The mycoplasmas. New York: Academic Press.

Carbonell, A., Martínez de Alba, A. E., Flores, R., & Gago, S. (2008). Double-stranded RNA interferes in a sequence-specific manner with infection of representative members of the two viroid families.Virology, 371(1), 44-53.

Cassin, J. (1966). Report of Mission in Dahomey - Letter of December 27, 1966 addressed to Mr Montargut. IFAC. Retrived from (In French)

Darthenucq, A., &Rey, J. Y. (1974). Initial results of citrus rootstocks screening in Mali. Fruits, 29(7-8), 505-518. (In French).

Dawson, W. O. (2010). Citrus tristeza virus: Complex and tristeza disease. St. Paul: APS Press.

Eiras, M., Silva, S. R., Stuchi, E. S., Carvalho, S. A., & Garcêz, R. M. (2013). Identification and characterization of viroids in “Navelina ISA 315” sweet orange. Tropical Plant Pathology, 38(1), 58-62. 

EPPO. (2004). Citrus tristeza closterovirus. Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin,34(2), 239-246.

EPPO/CABI. (1996). Quarantine pests for Europe. 2nd Ed. Wallingford: Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI).

FAOSTAT. (2018). FAOSTAT database. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations (FAO).Retrieved from

Flores, R., & Owens, R. A. (2008). Encyclopedia of virology. 3rd Ed. Oxford: Elsevier.

Flores, R., Hernández, C., Alba, A. E. M., de, Daròs, J. A., & Serio, F. D. (2005). Viroids and Viroid-Host Interactions. Annual Review of Phytopathology, 43(1), 117-139.

Fraser L. 1959. The relation of seedling yellows to tristeza. In Citrus Virus Diseases (Wallace, J. M. Ed.). University of California - Division of Agricultural Science, California, USA, 57-62.

Garcia, M. L., De La Torre, M. E., Dal Bo, E., Djelouah, K., Rouag, N., Luisoni, E., Milne, R. G., & Grau, O. (1997). Detection of citruspsorosis-ringspot virus using RT-PCR and DAS-ELISA. Plant Pathology, 46(6), 830-836. 

Garnier, M. (1983). Transmission of the organism associated with citrus greening disease from sweet orange to periwinkle by dodder. Phytopathology, 73(10), 1358-1363.

Garnier, M., Danel, N., & Bové, J. M. (1984). The greening organism is a gram Negative Bacterium. International Organization of Citrus Virologists Conference Proceedings (1957-2010), 9(9), 115-124.

Halbert S. E., & Manjunath K. L. (2004). Asian citrus psyllids (Steronrryncha: Psyllidae) and greening disease of citrus: a literature review and assessment of risk in Florida. Florida Entomologist, 87(3), 330-353.[0330:acpspa];2

Hughes, W. A., & Lister, C. A. (1953). Lime dieback in the gold coast, a virus disease of the Lime, Citrus Aurantifolia (Christmann) Swingle. Journal of Horticultural Science, 28(2), 131-140.

Jagoueix, S., Bove, J. M., & Garnier, M. (1994). The phloem-limited bacterium of greening disease of citrus is a member of the subdivision of the Proteo-bacteria. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology, 44(3), 379-386.

Jamoussi, B. (1995). Diclining diseases of citrus. Revue de Mycologie. Supplément Colonial à La Revue de Mycologie, 20(1), 47. Retrieved from (In French).

Kareem, K. T., Odu, B. O., Umeh, V. C., Chikaleke, V. A., Oke, K. E., Arogundade, O., Adediji, A. O., & Odedara, O. O. (2013). Incidence and distribution of citrus tristeza virus in citrus cultivars in Ibadan south west Nigeria. Journal of Applied Horticulture, 15(3), 183-186.

Kumi, F. L., Van der-Puije, G. L., Tettey, C. L., & Lamptey, J. N. L. (2013, October). Incidence and severity of citrus quick decline virus in Abura-Asebu Kwamankese district, Ghana. In M. P. Nampala, G.Tusiime, M. Osiru & E. Adipala (Eds.). The 5th forum Biennial Regional Conference, Cape Town, South Africa (pp. 635-642).

Lee, R. F. (2015). Control of virus diseases of citrus. In Control of plant virus diseases (Loebenstein, G., & Katis, N. Eds.). Academic Press, Cambridge, USA, 143-173. 10.1016/bs.aivir.2014.10.002 

Lister, C. A. (1947). Specialists reports. Accra: Department of Agriculture of Gold Coast Press.

Lister, C. A. (1948). Specialists reports. Accra: Department of Agriculture of Gold Coast Press.

Lokossou, B., Tossou, C., Vernière, C., & Ollitrault, P. (2009).Benin citrus assessment mission: from September 28 to October 9, 2009. INRAB. Retrived from (In French).

Lopes, S. A., Frare, G. F., Camargo, L. E. A., Wulff, N. A., Teixeira, D. C., Bassanezi, R. B., Beattiec, G. A. C., & Ayres, A. J. (2010). Liberibacters associated with orange jasmine in Brazil: Incidence in urban areas and relatedness to citrus liberibacters. Plant Pathology, 59(6), 1044-1053.

Martin, S., Alioto, D., Milne, R. G., Garnsey, S. M., Garcıa, M. L., & Grau, O. (2004).  Detection of Citrus psorosis virus by ELISA, molecular hybridization, RT-PCR and immunosorbent electron microscopy and its association with citrus psorosis disease. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 110(7), 747-757.

McClean, A. P. D. (1960). Seedling-yellows in South African citrus trees.  South African Journal of Agricultural Science, 3, 259–279.

Mello, A. F. S., Yokomi, R. K., Payton, M. E., & Fletcher, J. (2010). Effect of citrus stubborn disease on Navel orange production in a commercial orchard in California. Journal of Plant Pathology, 92 (2), 429-438.

Mendel, K. (1968). Observations on the incidence of Tristeza disease in various countries in Africa. International Organization of Citrus Virologists Conference Proceedings (1957-2010), 4(4), 35-37.

Milne, R. G., Garcia, M. L., & Grau, O. (2000). Genus ophiovirus. Type species citrus psorosis virus (CPsV). In Virus Taxonomy, 7th Report of the International Committee for Taxonomy of Viruses (van Regenmortel, M. H. V., Fauquet, C. M., Bishop, D. H. L., Carstens, E. B., Estes, M. K., Lemon, S. M., Maniloff, J., Mayo, M. A., McGeoch, D. J., Pringle, C. R., & Wickner, R. B. Eds.). Academic Press, San Diego, USA, 627-631.

Montargut, G. (1971). The Dahomean  citrus orchards and their developmenst. GERDAT-IFAC. Retrived from (In French).

Opoku, A. A. (1972). Incidence of exocortis virus disease of citrus in Ghana. Ghana Journal of Agricultural Science, 5, 65-71.

Palacio-Bielsa, A., Romero-Durbán, J., & Duran-Vila, N. (2004). Characterization of citrus HSVd isolates. Archives of Virology, 149(3), 537-552.

Pretty, J., & Bharucha, Z. P. (2014). Sustainable intensification in agricultural systems. Annals of Botany, 114(8), 1571-1596.

Reanwarakorn, K., & Semancik, J. S. (1998). Regulation of pathogenicity in hop stunt viroid-related group II citrus viroids. Journal of General Virology, 79(12), 3163-3171.

Rodriguez, O., Salibe, A. A, & Pompeu, J. (1974). Reaction of nucellar Hamlin orange on rangpur lime to several exocortis strains. International Organization of Citrus Virologists Conference Proceedings (1957-2010), 6(6), 114-116.

Roistacher, C. N. (1991). Graft-transmissible disease of citrus: Handbook for detection and diagnosis. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations- International Organization of Citrus Virologists(FAO-IOCV).

Saglio, P., Lhospital, M., Lafleche, D., Dupont, G., Bove, J. M., Tully, J. G., & Freundt, E. A. (1973). Spiroplasma citri gen. and sp. n.: A Mycoplasma-Like Organism Associated with “Stubborn” Disease of Citrus. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology, 23(3), 191-204.

Sastry, K. S. (2013). Plant virus and viroid diseases in the tropics. Volume1. Heidelberg: Springer.

Schwarz, R. E. (1965). Aphid-borne virus diseases of citrus and their vectors in South Africa. A. Investigations into the epidemiology of aphid transmissible virus diseases of citrus by means of trap plants. South African Journal of Agricultural Science, 8, 839–852.

Serra, P., Gago, S., & Duran-Vila, N. (2008). A single nucleotide change in Hop stunt viroid modulates citrus cachexia symptoms. Virus Research, 138(1-2), 130-134.

Shepherd, E. F. S. (1954). Specialists reports. Accra: Department of Agriculture of Gold Coast Press.

Tabler, M., & Tsagris, M. (2004). Viroids: petite RNA pathogens with distinguished talents. Trends in Plant Science, 9(7), 339-348.

Teixeira, D. C., Ayres, J., Kitajima, E. W., Danet, L., Jagoueix-Eveillard, S., Saillard, C., & Bove, J. M. (2005). First report of a Huanglongbing-like disease of citrus in Sao Paulo state, Brazil and association of a new Liberibacter species, “Candidatus Liberibacter americanus”, with the disease. Plant Disease, 89(1), 107-107.

Varma, A. (1981). Virus diseases of fruit and vegetable crops in Nigeria. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Varma, A., & Atiri, G. I. (1993). Virus and virus-like diseases of citrus in Nigeria. International Organization of Citrus Virologists Conference Proceedings (1957-2010), 12(12), 462-463. 

Velázquez, K., Pina, J. A., Navarro, L., Moreno, P., & Guerri, J. (2012). Association of citrus psorosis B symptoms with a sequence variant of the citrus psorosis virus RNA 2. Plant Pathology, 61(3), 448-456. 

Velázquez, K., Soto, M., Pérez, R., Pérez, J. M, Rodríguez, D., & Duran-Vila, N. (2002). Biological and molecular characterization of two isolates of Citrus Viroids recovered from cuban plantations. International Organization of Citrus Virologists Conference Proceedings (1957-2010), 15(15), 258-263.

Vogel, R. (1972a). Phytopathological problems posed to the Ivorian citrus industry, Report of the mission carried out from January, 3 to 16  1972.GERDAT-IFAC/INRA). Retrived from (In French).

Vogel, R. (1972b). Phytopathological problems posed to the Dahomean citrus industry, Report of the mission carried out from January, 16 to 21  1972. GERDAT-IFAC/INRA. Retrived from (In French).

Vogel, R. (1975). Report of the mission carried out from April, 19 to 25  1972. Health state of Dahomean citrus. GERDAT-IFAC/INRA. Retrived from (In French).

Wallace, J. M. (1959). Citrus virus diseases. Berkeley, University of California, Division Agricultural Science.