Breadfruit Disease Identification and Varietal Resistance in Hawai‘i

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2019: $49,971.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2021
Host Institution Award ID: G234-19-W7502
Grant Recipient: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Noa Lincoln
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Eli Isele
University of Hawaii
Dana Shapiro
Hawaii Ulu Producers Cooperative
Janice Uchida
Dept. of Plant Pathology, University of Hawaii


  • Additional Plants: native plants, Breadfruit


  • Crop Production: crop improvement and selection
  • Education and Training: extension
  • Pest Management: prevention

    Proposal abstract:

    Breadfruit Disease Identification and Varietal Resistance in Hawai‘i

    Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) plantings in Hawai‘i are growing exponentially, as research indicates over 2,500 trees have been established on commercial farms in the past 5 years and total plantings are expected to double further in the next 5 years (Langston and Lincoln 2018). A statewide assessment identified over 150 farms growing breadfruit and over 5,000 agricultural trees representing an estimated $1.5 million farm gate price once mature. This rapid development requires increased vigilance in disease monitoring to prevent crop losses and protect farm profitability. Diseases of breadfruit have caused widespread tree decline and death in Jamaica and the Pacific Basin (Trujillo 1971, Coates-Beckford and Pereira 1992), threatening local food production and the commercial breadfruit industry. This project addresses gaps in research on breadfruit diseases in Hawai‘i as well as varietal susceptibility and resistance to pathogens of the greatest concern. 

    PIs will work with the Hawai‘i ‘Ulu Producers Cooperative and individual growers to identify and catalog Hawai‘i breadfruit diseases using producer reports, photographs, infected sample collection, and lab cultures. The project team will also conduct laboratory tests of varietal resistance and susceptibility for four diseases identified as major concerns for Hawai‘i breadfruit production. Findings will be submitted for publication in a scientific journal and used to create a technical factsheet for producers with disease catalog and visual guide to pathogen identification. Results will also be used to develop grower recommendations for varietal selection in different regions of Hawai‘i. These materials will be shared with producers and an extended network of international breadfruit researchers, producer groups and commercial manufacturers. While a relatively simple design and project, virtually no previous research has systematically confirmed pathogenicity for breadfruit diseases or examined differences in cultivar susceptibility (Lincoln et al 2018).

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Through farmer network, identify and catalogue diseases affecting breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) in Hawai‘i using reports from growers, photographs, infected sample collection, and lab cultures.
      July 2019 - January 2021

      1. Materials Produced: Hawai‘i Breadfruit Disease Catalog

      2. Field technician will work with farmer network to ship samples of infected fruit to

        CTAHR laboratory where PIs Lincoln and Uchida will isolate, culture, and identify diseases. Collected diseases will be documented through farmer and PI photographs, field observations, and lab findings.

    2. Conduct trials to determine susceptibility or resistance of breadfruit varieties to four major diseases in Hawai‘i, including Phytophthora and Colletotrichum.

    June 2020 - January 2021

    a. Materials Produced: Published scientific article

    b. Field technician will work with statewide breadfruit farmer network to ship healthy

    fruit from range of varieties and locations to CTAHR lab. Overseen by PIs,

    graduate assistant will inoculate fruits with selected diseases in lab and

    document deterioration speed and scope. In collaboration with project PIs,

    graduate assistant will analyze research data and publish a scientific article

    based on the study.

    3. Develop and share Technical Factsheet on breadfruit diseases in Hawai‘i, including varietal resistance and susceptibility recommendations for specified diseases.

    January 2021 - April 2021

    1. Materials Produced: Technical Factsheet on breadfruit disease in Hawai‘i

    2. Based on findings from Objective 2 above, PI Lincoln will develop varietal

      recommendations for Hawai‘i breadfruit growers. He will compile recommendations, disease documentation and photographs into a Technical Factsheet to help producers identify disease in their breadfruit trees. PIs will disseminate Factsheet to farmer and extension network.

    4. Hold 2 on-farm workshops on breadfruit disease identification and management on major islands with commercial production, Hawai‘i and O‘ahu.
    May 2021 - June 2021

    a. PIs will lead two workshops on breadfruit disease identification on Hawai‘i Island and O‘ahu, distribute Technical Factsheet to participants, and evaluate participant subject knowledge before and after using SARE-approved surveys.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.