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Modern growing methods may be culprit of 'coffee rust' fungal outbreak

tified and studied in Sri Lanka in 1867, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The disease soon spread to much of southeast Asia and eventually throughout the southern, central and western coffee-growing regions of Africa.

Coffee rust was not known in the Western Hemisphere until 1970, when it was found in Bahia, Brazil. Since 1970, the disease has spread to every coffee-growing country in the world, according to the Coffee Research Institute.

The rust mainly infects coffee leaves, but also young fruit and buds. Coffee rust spores are spread by the wind and the rain from lesions on the underside of leaves.

Contact: Jim Erickson
University of Michigan

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